Monday, August 6, 2012

Evenings with Matt

My silly Matt and his (veg) sausage nunchucks.
Today is the first day of Matt's new schedule at work.  I am pretty much beyond excited about it. 

See, Matt and I used to work together--that's how we met--and so we had the exact same work schedule.  It was pretty sweet, I have to say.  We carpooled, could commiserate about frustrating co-workers and laugh with mutual work friends, had the same vacations and shifts, and thus the same free time to work on projects about the garden and house, play games, visit friends and family, etc.  It was grand.

Five years ago I graduated from college and started working full-time at the library.  Thus my schedule changed quite a bit.  So, for the past five years Matt has work 12pm-9pm (or later if there are lots of packages or bad weather) and I have worked 8am-5pm.  It was sort of crumby because they were just about opposite shifts.  We eat dinner at what should be bed time, either that or I never get to eat with him.  We end up staying up too late because evening is when we get to catch up with each other, talk about our day, play Yahtzee.  Matt needs time to unwind after the long shift before he is ready to crawl into bed.  We had only weekends and the very early morning hours to work on projects together or even go birdwatching or grocery shopping.  But, we're gone almost every weekend in summer (when there are lots of projects to do) and its hard for me to think about getting up at 6am to build tomatoes cages when we usually get to bed around midnight.  

So, with a new boss being particularly agreeable and with a few other people changing positions at work, they struck a deal allowing Matt to keep his increased wage for being a new employee mentor/trainer, his health benefits, and his vacation pay, all while reducing his hours to 12pm-5pm. 

That means we can start our evening together by 6pm.  We can eat dinner at a reasonable hour and go to bed at a reasonable hour.  We can visit his parents more.  We can go listen to live music together.   (I currently go by myself and always feel a little bad because I know how much Matt enjoys live music and he missed out so much because of work.)  Matt can go back to being a morning person, which he always has been and I can continue learning to be the morning person I want to be.  We can watch the sunsets together.  We can walk by the river in the cool evening.  We can explore our new neighborhood, which is still woefully unexplored at this point.

This is something we've wanted to do for a year or two, but we just never could make it work financially.  And now we think we can.

We will make less money, but not too much.  We're making more and more money each year with our home based tie-dye business.  I know we will be able to expand to more shows and make even higher quality product with Matt able to devote as much time to it as he would like to.  We're saving more and more money each year with garden produce.  I am confident we'll only continue on that trend as well, again especially once Matt has even more time to devote to his gardening passion.   We're really good at not spending money (like, really good) and we could be even more frugal if need be, but we've been keeping a close eye on the bills and we really think it will be just fine. 

In any case, we both feel that the increase in our happiness and quality of life will greatly out way the lost income.

And Matt could always get a morning job if the ends don't meet.  Or they already told him he could come back to the evening shift at work, too, if he wants or needs to.

But, here is hoping it doesn't come to that.

I am really, really, really, REALLY looking forward to having evenings with Matt.  I think I might even be more excited about it than he is.

10 comments:

  1. Time with your loved ones is always more important than money, so good for you, hope it all works out just peachy!

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    1. Thanks so much for your well-wishes. I couldn't agree with you more.

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  2. Beth,
    That is really exciting! I am happy for you both. Now, you can get chickens! LOL...maybe you don't have that in the plans?

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    1. Our slow-as-can-be city council is still waiting to vote on urban chickens. The vote is less than a month away and looks favorable. But, you are correct, at some point I am going to keep chickens! I'd just like to do it on the up-and-up if I can....if the city council would just get on with it!

      And thanks! We are VERY excited.

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  3. This sounds wonderful. Four years ago I went from a a full time management position to working 2 days a week, it was a big change. But it was something we wanted to do, our first grandchild was born and I always knew that I would take care of my grandchildren if their parents worked. We planned for around 6 months, we saved my entire paycheck during that time so we were used to managing expenses without it. We had paid off our home and eliminated all other debt. When I went part time we were ready! I have never looked back, I enjoy my days with my now three grandsons, have time to take care of our home, our garden, our lives and we have not missed the income. We too live frugally, and I can tell you the saying of Dave Ramsey is so true, "live like no one else so you can live like no one else"! I always liked that , people are amused by us, we buy used, we grow our own food, we raise our own beef, we bake our own bread, we make our own laundry detergent, we pay cash, we put a set amount into savings, we don't take on debt. As I see it they can be amused, we live exactly how we wish, have plenty of time for our family and are very happy. We are not stressed out chasing the "American Dream", as we have already caught and embraced our very own dream :)
    As you guys have figured out, money isn't everything although it is useful, but time with loved ones is the best riches in all the world.

    Blessings to you,

    Bean

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    1. "we have already caught and embraced our very own dream" - Hear,hear! If only everyone could say the same.

      Thanks so much for your words of encouragement and for sharing your own similar tale. Life is so much more than income. Its the joy of children and the taste of good food. Its in so many of these little things...things Matt and I were missing out on experiencing together. We are so excited about this new phase in our journey!

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    1. Thanks, Mary! We sure enjoyed our first evening together last night! It was fantastic.

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  5. So happy for two of the very best people in my life. Continue to live the way that myself and others wish they had the courage to. I value your constant inspiration to live simpler and with less impact than I currently do. Love ya!

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    1. Aw, thanks. You're too kind. (As you know)We were very, very happy together already and I think its going to be even more so now that we've got our evenings together. Livin' the dream, man! We are so blessed (and one of those blessings is you!)

      Love you, too!

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!