As a stay-at-home mom/wife, we often did without. Living on one salary is tough, but I did what I could for a few dollars here and there. However, the brunt of our wealth has been on the shoulders of Jim. I am the one that budgets, and I tried to be as frugal as I could over the years.
We have enjoyed our run around with life, Jim and I. There isn't a whole lot of things that we haven't done that we have chosen to do. A majority of what we have done over the years involved our children. A choice that we happily made.
Oh sure, a vacation would be really nice. I can't remember the last time we went on a vacation just for fun... ours always consist of visiting family. Which is wonderful that we are able to do that, but going to the beach, or to the Bahamas or something of that nature just to relax, has never been available to us... we either have the time, and no money or money and no time. Although I have to admit the not having the money has always been an issue.
Jim has had a variety of jobs over the years... but the majority has been blue collar jobs... the most prevalent was being an Owner/Operator of a semi truck. He was trucking when I met him and over the course of 30 years that is the one thing that, in times of trouble, he always went back to.
He has an injury in his back from his time spent in the Army back in the Vietnam War that he has handled the best he could. He rarely complained, and for 30 years, almost every night I have massaged his muscles and taken out the cramps and helped with the pain. It is now beyond what I can do to help and he is losing feeling in both legs at various times. His right leg hurts when he drives continuously for hours, and his left leg hurts when he stands or walks for any length of time. He is going through tests to see what he can do, but in the mean time, he has had to leave his job. It was a mutual agreement - they didn't want him to get hurt and had no where really to place him, and he hurt too much to stay.
So, what does a middle-aged baby boomer do to change his life? The answer came from our youngest daughter while she was job hunting. Mariann told him he needed to check into a totally different job. So he has. He has taken a week for classes, and then studied for 2 weeks before taking two major tests. He started this week, after doing well on his tests (he was told most people do not pass both tests on the same day). He is being trained in the field this week, and hopefully will be out on his own soon. He is selling insurance: life, long -term care, annuities etc.
Jim is a hands-on worker. He is an outdoors person. He is a boots, jeans and flannel shirt kind of a guy. It is not going to be easy over the next few months - he likes the paycheck in his hand every week... But this man of mine, has donned the khaki pants, dress shirt and fancy shoes. This old dog is learning a new trick!
He has a can-do attitude. I have a frugal attitude. So with both of those in mind, I think we are going to be able to be successful.
We believe that God has always watched over us, giving us just what we needed at the time we needed it (maybe not exactly what we wanted, but exactly what we needed)
This is a leap of faith and we pray that God knows what He is doing...