We finish up FPU on Sunday. It has been wonderful, irritating, fascinating, and overwhelming all at the same time! It has varied week to week how I have felt about everything. Some classes have left me feeling so great about where we are, how we are going to stay on track and about the future. Other classes have left me feeling a little deflated but still hopeful. I think I mainly get deflated because I look at the state of our economy right now and become a little scared and discouraged. I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel sometimes and I need to look a little harder because surely it is there. Last week after class we both left feeling very good about where we are and what we are doing. Well, mainly what Tyler is doing. He does all the work and I just hold down the fort. Over the past year or so we have been asking ourselves a lot of questions and feeling like we might be missing the point. We are not missing the point at all. Dave keeps saying "If you will live like no one else, later you can LIVE like no one else". We don't live bad right now at all, in fact, we think we have it pretty good. We don't feel like we are missing out on much. Although, sometimes we do feel like we are missing out on fun stuff we just don't want to spend money on, but we get over it quickly! So, last week he focused on work, jobs, careers-whatever you want to call it. Tyler has been at the same job for the last 15 years. That's crazy right? I could hardly believe it myself. In fact I didn't believe it until it was shown to me on paper. During those years sometimes he hasn't felt like he was doing what he was supposed to do, maybe he should work somewhere else, maybe he should do something totally different, maybe he should go back to school, maybe we should move far away, maybe, maybe, maybe.......lots of maybes.
We put a stop to the maybes last week and it was very exciting. There are no guarantees in life, but I believe if you put in the time and effort, pay your dues, pray a lot, you will reap rewards later. So, my husband works, and has worked, 50-60 hours a week. He's putting in his dues, time and effort. I'm not saying he does more than anyone else by any means, I'm just saying he does more right now than I wish he would (although I do not complain or even remember this when he brings home money!) I just know that he will keep on doing this for what we are hoping is only 15 more years. 15 years! He is half way done with his work life! He is working a lot right now, so later, he can just work when he wants to work, which hopefully will be a lot less than he does now and we can play a lot more than we do now!
Dave read this poem and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It made me cry. It reminded me of the man Tyler is and just how thankful I am to be his wife.
I do not choose to be a common man It is my right to be uncommon... If I can. I seek opportunity... Not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, Humbled and dulled by having the state to dream and build, to Fail and succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the Guaranteed existence; the thrill of Fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence Nor my dignity for a hand out. I will Never cower before any master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid; to think and act for myself; enjoy the benefits of my creations; and to face the world boldly and say, "This I have done with my own hand, I am a man. I am an American.
*Originally published in This Week Magazine. October 1952, p. 10, and January 1954, p. 122, * The Honorable Dean Alfange was an American statesman born December 2, 1899, in Constantinople (now Istanbul). He was raised in upstate New York. He served in the U.S. Army during World War 1 and attended Hamilton College, graduating in the class of ?22. He attended Colombia University where he received his law degree and opened a practice in Manhattan. In 1942 Alfange was the American Labor Party candidate for governor of New York and a founder of the Liberal Party of New York. Dean Alfange was also Professor Emeritus at UMass Amherst and a leading figure in various pro-Zionist organizations (between other actions, in November 1943, he appeared before the House of Representatives and addressed them on the rescue of the Jewish people of Europe). He died in Manhattan at the age of 91 on October 27, 1989.