As I was scrolling through Facebook today, I came across an article that said NBA superstar player Kawhi Leonard still drives a ’97 Chevy even though he has a 94 MILLION dollar contract.You’ve all seen this car before.
It’s not the prettiest looking thing(especially not being brand new) but his reasoning is: it runs and it is paid off. My first reaction: a round of applause. If more people thought this way, there would be more millionaires and billionaires in the world. As I am getting older, the value of material things gets less and less and the prospect of wealth and stability become more and more valuable. Wes and I are working toward building wealth and preparing for retirement (we’ll be sharing more about that soon). I want to be in a better standing than my parents were and I want my children to be in a better standing than I was. I know a lot of people that wish they had had better financial plans at 24 years old. Kawhi is on the right track to be well established for the rest of his life and not just for the rest of his career.
Will and Jada Smith
After watching an old episode of Oprah, I was inspired to write this. The Smith family was on Oprah to talk about their lives, both celebrity and personal. I was moved by the way the entire family presented themselves, especially as a unit. Everyone is expected to contribute to the family in some way. Everything they do is done to better the family unit. As a high school teacher, I appreciate the accountability that Will and Jada are teaching their children. In terms of their marriage, I also admire how they respect each other as equal partners. One thing they discussed about their marriage was the setting of goals. They said they frequently sit down and set goals for themselves and their family. These goals then give purpose to everything that they do. This resonated with me because this is something that Wesley and I have been doing since we began dating. Setting goals helps to establish us as a unit and keeps us on the same page with what is expected. While some of our goals are financial, not all of them are. And they shouldn’t be. We set personal goals for our relationship and (future) family as well. From what I saw on Oprah, the Smith family seems like a solid, loving and inspired family. That’s why Will and Jada Smith are couple of the month.
Here’s the link to the Oprah interview:
Times have changed. Gone is the notion of the stay at home woman. The average woman these days has a career, in addition to taking care of the home. (And as I’m typing this, I’m waiting for dinner to finish, drying my hair and completing my lesson plans for tomorrow). This was something that I personally struggled with when we first got married. The thought of trying to build a career (and being fully vested in it) as well as building a home was no less than daunting. When Wesley and I got married, I was teaching full-time and was in school full-time. I barely had enough time to sleep, let alone cook dinner every night. So when he would get upset that things around the house weren’t done, or we were eating take out one more time, I would also get upset. Why couldn’t he just understand that Iwas busy? Why was he putting me back in the 1950’s?
Then after the umpteenth disagreement, we sat and really hashed out what our expectations were of our roles as husband and wife. The expectations we both had were based on how we were brought up. In Wesley’s family, the women took care of the house. No question. In my family, the women worked and brought home the money. My mother was as single mother, so a strong, working woman was my model. We decided to agree on the roles both of us would have. I would assume the household duties when I could. When I was busy or had deadlines, he would pick up where I left off. It wasn’t fair to him to have to do it all by himself. We both cook, clean and do laundry. And this works for us.
When I agreed to become Wesley’s wife, I agreed to be one half of our unit. So using work and life as an excuse to get out of that wasn’t ok. I promised to take care of him and our family. And the same for him. If this means that some days, work goes on the back burner so that I can make his favorite meal, then so be it. If it means doing a little more planning on the weekend, so that during the week I can be “present”, fine. These are the compromises you make when you love someone. And you do it because it makes them happy, which makes you happy. Meeting the needs of your partner (or at least trying to) is crucial in maintaining a relationship. But that’s another post. 🙂
“Are you married?” Is a question I hear often hear. It’s usually followed up by “Do you have children? Are you expecting?” When the answer is no, I get looks of confusion and grief. Yes, I am young and yes I am married. No, I did not get married because I was pregnant. I married for love.
In society today, marrying for love seems like some far away concept that’s never been heard of. The thought of marriage today is seen as a prison sentence; it is a last resort. You would be throwing yourself into a pit of lions with T-bone steaks strapped to your back. And marrying at a “young age” makes it even worse. But why? Why is it that being married is seen more as an omen of death than one of new life?
When Wesley and I announced we were getting married, we received our fair share of backlash from family, friends and people we didn’t even know. 😮 “What’s the rush?” “How do you even know you’ll be together that long?” “Can you handle being MARRIED?!” Definitely not what we expected. We thought the world would be proud of two young people making this kind of decision. We were getting MARRIED, not MURDERING someone. With faith in each other and in God, we did it anyway. And here we are two years later, enjoying every minute of it.
Now do we recommend everyone our age going out and getting hitched? Heck no! Wes and I were mature enough and at a place in our lives where we could make that kind of decision. If a person isn’t fully ready (emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially), it’ll be a tough road going.