Four days ago, Eric and I sat on our porch, coffee mugs sitting on Adirondack chair arms. The sky was creamy yellow, iridescent and fluorescent with the promise of another hot day.
Jasper the cat idled up the pathway-as if he knew this was a Goodbye Coffee- and with a light spring landed in Eric’s lap. We three sat there, perusing the early morning view, silent, yet for deep engine of purrs coming from Jasp and the trills of tree-perched birds.
Empty-mugged we headed back inside to reluctantly wake the kids up. Moments later we stood in the driveway, hugging Eric amid tears and sore hearts.
As he set off for Texas in his wee red Mini, the kids and I swiped away our tears and vowed to have a fun day, despite Daddy leaving for three months.
Yes its all-change here. Eric has been offered a job as an Airline Pilot: Bloody brilliant! We are all over the moon, especially as this means we inherent travelers can roam about the world, courtesy of his new airline. And, of course, this little expat can now afford to fly back home to the UK, with the entire family!
So, yes friends, it’s a good-goodbye. He’s off for around five months of training, with a short break after three months.
My forty-something year old husband has relinquished his high-stress job as a Road Construction Project Manager and, in effect, become a student once more. Yet he’s returning to his roots; he was an Aviator in the Army and his first word as a baby was ‘airplane.’
“Muuuuum, why do you tell everyone Daddy’s going to be a pilot?” Sophie asks me, “because I’m so proud of him, darling!” And I am; incredibly. I’m proud that he’s followed his passion, that he sacrificed a well-paid job to embark on a new career. I’m proud that he didn’t ignore his grey hairs, expanding waist-line and compromised health caused by the stress of his job.
It’ll take Eric five years to be on the salary he was on. And, during these first few months, we are on a low income. It’s a lifestyle shift. We now have a strict budget and are all making sacrifices. The kids only get to do one activity for a while, I’ve cancelled subscriptions and can’t buy things on a whim anymore.
But, you know what? Its fine, it really is. Life has been peeled back, its become simpler, and I like that. Money can be distracting, it can pull you into believing that stuff and attaining it is the meaning of life. As the Pastor aptly reminded us on Sunday morning, “we can’t take it with us.” Living in America this is particularly pronounced in a way I didn’t feel as much in Britain. Its such a consumer- driven culture. Now we’ve been forced-at least for a little while- to experience a more frugal lifestyle.
Am I missing Eric?! Of course. But we are military, and used to long bouts of separation. In fact, we do well apart. Eric’s studying away in his little student apartment, frequenting the gym and we are plodding along just nicely back home. In fact, I have a few goals for the next few months, seeing as my productivity tends to increase with the absence of a partner in crime:-
So plans are:-
Finish that plant- based cookery course I started, like, four years ago
Use the juicer (not just display it prettily on the counter)
Workout a little more
Read with the kids
Up my home yoga practice
Read, for fun
Drink less wine, just on occasion, preferably below recommended weekly amount of 6 units:-)
Phone a friend
Go to bed earlier
Find discipline every day, not just 5/7 days
Turn the ‘junk’ drawer into an organized junk draw
Get off Facebook and into my life
I’m inspired by Eric’s bravery in following his dreams. Its made me peer into my own life, and dust off a couple of mine. For example, if I want to be a writer, shouldn’t I- oh I don’t know- write?! I for one, waste so much time thinking about writing. Now its time to Do.
What about you? What puts color in your cheeks, plants you ‘in the zone’ and ignites the fire in your heart?
Oftentimes that Thing sits, squashed at the bottom of the pile, heaped with excuses and procrastinations and I can’t do’s. Just Do it. As Dr. Wayne Dyer and his book title says, “Don’t Die With Your Music Still In You.”
Well, Bright Siders, have a gorgeous week, filled with resolution, joy and gratitude.