My husband and I are goal setters. Throughout our marriage we've made lists and set goals. I remember our very first goal was to get out of the government assisted apartment we were living in and get a house on the eastside of town. We couldn't really afford that side of town and so the realtors we spoke to basically laughed us off. "You don't make enough" they said. "You can't afford anything over there" they assured us. But we were determined to raise our family in that area.
So while my husband worked I would pack up our toddler and newborn baby and drive around town looking for a house. After a couple of weeks I found one for $60K in a sweet little mill village on the eastside of town. We didn't think we had a snowballs chance in hell, but we reached out and asked about the little two bedroom house on the hill. I honestly believe the owner took pity on us... He was willing to trust us and do an owner financing deal. We didn't think we could afford the $400 a month payment, but we went for it anyway. With the help of a generous wedding gift from his parents we put a down payment and bought the little house... and we made our payments religiously. Goal one was complete.
Once we were in the house we sat down together and made a new list of goals. We talked about what would make us happy and what we would need to feel content and so we wrote down our wildest dreams. I remember that list. We wanted our kids to be in a certain school district. We wanted a privacy-fenced in backyard, a bigger three bedroom house with a garage, two cars, an annual income of $80K, and for my husband to graduate college with his engineering degree.
Over the years we accomplished, and eventually surpassed, the goals on that list. But the degree felt like it would never be done.
For 19 years my husband worked his way up.... Starting as a laborer, and then an hourly shift supervisor, until he finally worked himself up to a salaried management position. He did this while helping me raise our three children... and moving us into a three bedroom house with a one car garage... and then a four bedroom house with a two car garage and a privacy-fenced backyard in the school district we wanted... and going from one car to two cars to three cars... and surpassing our income goals. He did this while wooing me and making sure we went out for our weekly date night. And while taking the boys on paintball adventures, and having daddy-daughter dates, and taking family day trips, weekend adventures, and yearly vacations.
He did ALL of this while going to school off and on in pursuit of that engineering degree.
Life was good, but he still lacked that degree. So we sat down once again and made a new goal: We were tired of this degree looming out of reach. No more taking one or two classes at a time. We would get him through school immediately. This would mean him taking a leave of absence from work. It would mean no income. It would mean us saving enough money to live on for a few months. It would mean he'd take the absolute maximum course load, filled with some of the most difficult classes, all at once. It would mean all of the parenting would fall strictly on me. It would mean no more date nights, day trips, fun weekends, vacations, or family time for a while.
But we did it.
HE did it.
Like SuperMan overcoming kryptonite he clawed his way through to the finish. The last goal on our original list was accomplished a few weeks ago.
My dear husband is now a Mechanical Engineer... with a degree paid for by his employer... and a new position at work as a Manufacturing Engineer.
Words can not express how proud I am of him.
In the time since our first goal of moving out of the ghetto was set, our toddler has graduated from military school as an officer and moved out on his own. Our newborn baby has just graduated from his prestigious arts school & high school. And the baby girl we dreamed of having will be entering the 10th grade in all honors classes next year. So now it's time to set new goals for ourselves...
We're still working out the details of our new list of goals, and things may change. But as of right now we want a vintage camper to travel in. We both want to own our own businesses. We want a much smaller home on a few acres of land with a pirate themed swimming pool (don't judge). We want a condo at the beach. We want to retire millionaires. We want to leave our children, and eventual grandchildren, enough money to help get them started in life. But most importantly we want lots of time to spend with our family and friends.
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that all of these things will happen. Our focus is laser-like and together we are unstoppable. You see, I'll let you in on a secret, I married a SuperMan. And when you set a goal with your SuperMan and tell him that you believe he can do ANYTHING, he can and he will. So here's to our incredible past, our wonderful present, and our amazing future... May it be whatever we dream it to be!
My beautiful family at my husband's graduation ceremony.