I've learned something about myself in the last couple of years, lol! It only took 46 years to aquire this tidbit of information. However, before I share it, let me backtrack a bit. I've been married 23 years to an amazing, wonderful, sexy, handsome, fabulous guy...I think you get the picture, lol! Anyhow, for most of those years, I've penny-pinched on my sweetheart's salary while staying at home with our 6 kids. During that time, my main focus was always making sure that our children had everything they needed...food, security, clothing, love, school supplies, etc.. This always meant sacrifices for Darren and I. For the first 10 to 15 years we didn't go out to dinner, travel anywhere, buy new clothes and sometimes forgo birthday, Christmas and anniversary gifts. Money that was given to us, usually went to bills or groceries. In fact we were married about 4 years before I splurged and bought our first piece of beef to roast and I love roast beef! These were just some of the sacrifices that went into being a stay-at-home mom. We made this decision together and we worked at it together. I'm pretty sure a lot of other SAH parents can relate. The point I'm trying to make is that years go by before you feel like you deserve to put yourself first. These last two years have been been hellish for our family but that's another story altogether. Needless to say, guilt was my best friend for a long time. I felt like a failure. I felt unworthy and undeserving of anything good. It took me a long time to believe good things can happen to me, to us. Having said that, Darren and I have made some decisions about the next phase in our life. We've realized that all those years of sacrificing guarantees you absolutely nothing when it comes to your children and as a result, have been taking advantage of his travel benefits. Working as an aircraft maintenance engineer for a major airlines has it perks. We are able to travel at a very low cost. However, many of my husband's co-workers refuse to take advantage of these benefits because it requires flying standby. This means you could show up for a flight only to be told there are no seats available. It's totally a hit or miss. The one good thing is, as an employee he can check online to see how many seats are available and take our chances. Long and the short of it, we have been doing a lot of travelling. Some out of necessity, i.e. dropping off your child at university. Whatever the reason, we've taken advantage of these fringe benefits. Consequently, we've spent quality time together visiting friends, meeting new online friends and making new friends. Just to be clear, we are not wealthy people, will probably always scrimp and scrape to get by and continue to have debt. However, life is short and waiting till we're retired to enjoy it, is a long ways away. Here comes the part where I've been educated, lol! You know how people say, if I ever win the lottery or inherit a lotta money, I would never buy a big house or a fancy car, I would still live simple? I'm one of those people, except I've learned something this past week. I was fortunate to fly down to Jamaica and visit my family alone. My husband was kind enough to stay home with our sons while I was off gallivanting. On this trip, I was given a first-class seat going and coming home. Just to be clear, I've always been grateful flying coach, heck I was just grateful to get a seat. However, I'm here to tell you that flying coach and first-class are miles apart, no pun intended! Flying coach requires being scrunched in with just about anyone. It could be someone who bathed in garlic the night before...have you ever smelt stale garlic breath, ugh! It could be someone a few sizes larger than you who fail to realize that you just might want to share the armrest or it could be someone who has a bladder control problem and happen to be sitting in the window seat which then requires you to unbuckle and shimmy out of the way so they can get to the bathroom. Btw, that could easily be me, lol! Flying first-class has so many wonderful upgrades that you can almost forgive stale garlic breath. You never have to share an armrest and rarely having to try shimming out of the way going to the bathroom. Oh, it means so much more! How about having warm, damp cloth napkins to wipe your hands before eating and a menu that gives you choices of meals, unlimited wine, beer and non-alcholic drinks.
Let's not forget the snacks of potato chips, dark chocolate bars and smoked almonds and cashews. Then there's the pillows, newspapers and ear buds free of charge, so much legroom that a short person like me have to unbuckle her seatbelt to reach the tv screen.
Of course there's the "boarding the plane first and gettin off first". I'm probably forgetting a few more things but I'm still riding that feeling of bliss and my memory is a bit foggy. The enlightenment part...I enjoy the finer things in life like first class. I like nice cars and one day I'd love a home that has bigger rooms and wide open spaces. I fancy expensive things and I would love to be able to buy a bra that fits to a T without guilting myself out of it because of cost. One day when the kids are gone, I want to get my hair cut regularly rather than spending a measly $17.00 to get a dry cut every 6 months. I would like to go out and eat at least once a week in a restaurant of my choice or my husband's because we can. I look forward to buying a beautiful blouse or dress that may actually cost more than $30 and not worry about it. I like nice things. I like traveling, I like the comfort and ease that comes with all the special treatment. Underneath all that scrimping and scraping is a woman who relish nice things. I think I always did. I just forgot that I did. I'm also liking this "enlightening" me. Let just hope it doesn't put us in the poor house, lol! The most important lesson I've learned is that a woman can have everything she wants in life. However getting everything comes in stages and for those who are looking for it all at once, they will be looking a long time! If one lives long enough, is patient enough and allows for time, you can have it all!