A-Z Survival Guide to Life
M – Moxie, Money and Marriage
This is the thirteenth installment in the A-Z Survival Guide to Life I am writing for my boys.
I had a really difficult time coming up with something for M. I finally decided I would do Moxie, Money and Marriage (because I love alliteration). There are countless books on money and marriage, on how to have a happy marriage and how to be financially independent and savvy. It makes me wonder if people are reading these books, what with the divorce rate so high and so many people drowning in debt.
All of what you are about to read is based on my experience, and I am hoping that you can learn from my mistakes, because these were all hard lessons to learn. If I can spare you even a few trials and tribulations than I will feel like I accomplished what I set out to do.
Moxie – This definition comes from the Free Dictionary.com
- The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage.
- Aggressive energy; initiative:
- Skill; know-how.
Moxie is not a word you hear too often these days, but it is a great word. There used to be a Moxie soda back in the 1900s that had “medicinal” properties which gave one courage and vigor. In the 1920s it outsold Coca-Cola and then faded into obscurity. But the word moxie still lingers on. I tell you all this, because it is good to have moxie in how you approach life, your career and marriage.
Face difficulty with spirit and courage – I can come up so many clichés for this. Bottom line is – never let life get the best of you. Life is not going to be great all the time. That’s just impossible. You are going to be thrown all kinds of little challenges, hopefully they are just little blips in the road and nothing bigger. Think of it as a video game with obstacles and challenges. Get your best armor on, fill your “Life” bar up, be sure you have plenty of potions to keep the fight going and beat the crap out of the “Big Boss” or whatever challenge you are facing.
Aggressive energy or initiative – What this really means is don’t wait for stuff to come to you, you go and get it, within reason. This doesn’t mean stepping on others to get what you want, but it does mean taking opportunities, and running with them. This can also be applied to simple household tasks such as laundry – take the initiative, run with it and don’t wait for someone else to do it.
Skill – Having a skill is a huge plus. Get really, really good at whatever you choose to do with your career. Like my Mum always said “If you are going to do a job, do it well.” She also said she didn’t care what I did for a living, but hopefully it was going to be something I enjoyed, even if I chose to be a garbage man. I have watched the garbage men in our cul-de sac, maneuvering that claw thing, it looks like it would take an enormous amount of skill. And complete your education before getting married, and having children, if possible – it so much easier.
When married, try not to use the excuse “Oh, but you are so much better at doing that than I am.” It’s a lame excuse. Learn to do whatever it is, and share in the responsibilities. This could be applied to cooking, cleaning, making reservations, taxes and the list goes on.
Marriage – Like I said, or maybe I didn’t – but marriage is not a walk in the park or a stroll on the beach (see L-Laughter). It is not nightly candlelit three course dinners with Baked Alaska for dessert served on fine china. It will probably be more like spaghetti in empty margarine tubs, or if you have kids, it will be dinosaur chicken nuggets or fish sticks with macaroni and cheese. The romance will for the most part dissipate, but hopefully in its place will be a solid and true friendship.
Marriage takes work, dedication, the ability and willingness to compromise. Sometimes it means you have to be the adult and admit an argument is stupid. Take some deep breaths. Go to your respective corners (like boxers) squirt water in your mouths and cool down. The biggest argument your Dad and I ever got into was over a hotdog and who had eaten it. It turned out it was Newman, the Great Dane who had eaten it. What a disaster that was.
Moxie and Marriage – these two things are not mutually exclusive. You can maintain your moxie even when married. It is important that you both maintain your individuality. Just because you are bound by law and a piece of paper, does not mean you have to meld together into one indistinct person. Do not ever give up the things you enjoy, do not be told you can and cannot do things. Sometimes it is good to spend time apart doing things that each person relishes. It should be an even split, each person should be able to have the time to do those things. It should never be one-sided, because that is when the first bubbles of resentment will pop to the surface, and fester.
You have to have moxie in a marriage. There must spirit to face any challenge together. You must have initiative to take the issue on, whatever it may be. Challenges are not the time to go into your respective corners, they are the times when you band together and come up with a solution. Pointing fingers and blaming each other for past mistakes will get you nowhere, it will accomplish nothing.
Moxie, Marriage and Money – Money, I suspect, is one of the biggest reasons for the dissolution of marriages. If you feel you both should work, then this should be determined and agreed upon long before you get married. It is much easier when two incomes are filling the tills. And in today’s employment arena and economy, it is easier to survive with two incomes. And if you have children, being placed into daycare will not be detrimental to the child’s psyche (you both turned out well and you started daycare when you were only 6 weeks old).
Go into the marriage with as little debt as you can. And do not agree to an expensive wedding, as far as I can see it is just a big waste of money. And people say women dream of their wedding day, the day they are a princess. So does that mean – the rest of the marriage is going to be anticlimactic for them? Why not do it the other way around? Start with a small wedding, no debt and build on the extravagance year after year. It’s just a thought. Might take some moxie to do things differently when entering a marriage but it sure will save some money and start things off on the right foot.
And don’t ever let me hear you say you have a “Man Cave” because I will go completely ballistic.
Photo credit – drinkmoxie.com
Categories: A to Z Challenge, Life's A-Z Survival Guide
Excellent article and one everyone should read. Thanks for sharing it. @sheilamgood at Cow Pasture Chronicles
Great points. My kids were both in daycare, too, and they are wonderful people! And yes, we never argue over really important things, mostly just stupid stuff! 🙂
My kids both say they are glad they were in daycare, my oldest says it really helped him to socialize. It was still hard to leave them when they were little, but work was about the only time I was able to eat lunch or go to the toilet uninterrupted.
I had to be around grownups occasionally, lol, plus we kind of needed the money!
Brilliant advise. I’m passing it all on to my lot in the hope that it some of it takes.
Love the final sentence!!!
Thank-you. I am glad you liked the last sentence – the term “Man Cave” drives me crazy. Why aren’t there “Women Caves”? or is that what we call the kitchen and the laundry room? Or do men get “caves” because we think they are Neanderthal-like. Hmm – that makes me ponder?
I know one guy who has both a man cave and an office. It’s a three bedroom house (no kids yet) and he doesn’t even work in the home. wtf?
So I might have said this before, but does his wife have a “Woman Cave” – otherwise called the laundry room or kitchen? Sounds like a great guy – NOT!!!!!
It’s so annoying! It’s like many men already don’t do enough with their families and view themselves as baby sitters and don’t take on household responsibilities, but then they need a place of solitude on top of it? That self absorbed crap kills me.
I am right there with you on this one. The guy we bought this house from had converted not only his garage into a “Man Cave” complete with a TV on the wall, but also the living room, with another TV on the wall, a pool table and sports memorabilia everywhere. Needless to say, the family was selling the house because they were divorcing – OH!!! that’s surprising!!! (and then he lied about the irrigation system working – which it didn’t – and I had to rebuild the whole thing).
Ha, what a shock!
Yes, he was an awful man. I think he kept his Rottweiler tied to a chain around the Sequoia, there was a huge ring in the trunk, which seems to have grown in over the years, since we have lived here. I don’t know what became of the dog, hopefully the wife took him with her.
No man cave. I love that!
I knew you would.
Yes i do! Because why is it fair for guys to have their own solitude space in the house but not us? Kitchens and bathrooms do not count. If anyone gets a ma’am cave it’s the woman for doing everything and putting up with all the crap. (Though your men aren’t like others. You and the hubby are raising fine young men!) Give the puppies some ear scratches from me ❤️
Thanks my Sassy friend. I passed on your regards to the puppies. And don’t you know women don’t need solitude and they don’t need to rest when they are sick either, they don’t have to go their beds for three days because of a simple cold, they can and must just push through it. It definitely is an unfair world.
Poo on that double standard. They really are the weakest without us, yet here we are. Busting ass and making maybe HALF of what they do. Pansies. Oh, how I would LOVE for them to experience labor then say we don’t work. Grrrr Sadistic? Yes. Yes i am 😁