I've seen the little picture floating around Facebook that says "You were meant to do more than just pay bills and die". Personally, I've met that saying with dueling emotions and dismissed the whole thing.
This morning on our way to school, my daughter (who has a phone and the ability to scroll thru Facebook and find such things herself) shared that saying with me.
That brought about a teachable moment for me.
First of all, the saying is true, but it is not all inclusive. Second of all, I do more than work and pay bills. Thirdly, the kids do see me work a lot. More than a lot most days, weeks, months, etc. Fourthly, the blame is on me for not sharing and reiterating the goals to the children. Because it is easy for children and adults alike to lose sight of the goals when they aren't visible regularly.
I have written on here many times about our Dave Ramsey journey. And I have shared a few things with the kids here and there. But this morning they got an earful.
First I mentally kicked myself for not bringing these goals in front of them sooner! And then I explained. I am not working just to pay the bills. Daddy-O is not working just to pay the bills. We are on a journey with this. We are working to obliterate debt and have it be gone forever. And we are working to lay a foundation for all four of the children to live a life where debt is never needed.
Very quickly I explained to them how the world makes it sound like debt is necessary. Credit scores, student loans, mortgages, etc. are all preached to the masses as the way life should be. And I told the kids, hey, your dad and I bought in to it. We allowed ourselves to be led blindly. We never stopped and asked ourselves why? Why are these debts necessary? Why shouldn't we wait until we had the cash to buy the things we wanted? Why would it ever be smart to live a life of debt, idolizing a credit score that pretty much rates how good you are at paying people extra money to borrow their money for things? There was a time when I was quite prideful about my credit score. I look back on it now as foolish. All the score did was declare how good I was at buying things I couldn't afford; and then paying additional money because I had borrowed the money from someone else.
I told the kids that I want more for them! I told them about reading the Dave Ramsey book written by himself and his daughter. His daughter is within a decade of my age and has lived her life never owing anyone any money. What glorious freedom that must be! And I want that for my kids! I want that for them so much, I had to write it twice! I want it for them so much that I am reading all I can to learn how to make this happen!
My daughter recently teased me because all the books that I read are either about appraising or about finance. I told her that if you want to learn to be better about something, you have to educate yourself about it. I need to make better choices and change my future or I will never be able to help my kids make better choices and change their futures.
Tonight I am thankful that I am not meant to just pay bills and die. I am thankful that I do have the opportunity to work hard to change a path that my family was on. I am thankful for the opportunity to share these goals with the kids. I am thankful for the chance to tell them that I am not working so hard just to pay bills. That I am working this hard and learning so much to make a better future for them, each one of them.