Posts Tagged ‘money’

The ultimate sacrifice

January 10, 2011

In most relationships, sacrifice is inevitable.
To be successful at your job, , (beyond the normal employment duties) one might have to sacrifice their values, their beliefs, their integrity, or their location. To be a good mother, one must sacrifice their time, their energy and finances.
Sometimes we don’t want to sacrifice. Or, We want to dole out our sacrificed commodity. And, “what” is really considered a sacrifice? often, The thought of sacrificing is much more appealing than the reality of such an action. After all, we do tend to romanticize the situations that surround “sacrifice.” Usually when we imagine such sacrifices; the results are often favorable. Therefore, there is a silver lining to the sacrifice which makes the sacrifice worth the effort. And, there is a notion that there is a direct link between the size of the sacrifice and the desired accomplishment. “The only question to ask yourself is, how much are you willing to sacrifice to achieve this success?” —
Larry Flynt. “Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough, You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it,” — James M. Barrie And, romantically speaking, even when the sacrifice does not yield the desired results, the one who has sacrificed is deemed a martyr for —- Love … or freedom … or truth … or something. In this way, the efforts that have made up the whole of the sacrifice have been, in some way, redeeming.

In opposition to these romantic notions, counseling books everywhere (typically those that either have a very feminist bent or those exemplifying “reality therapy”) have dispelled the notion that a sacrifice is neither admirable or noble. Usually, these books talk about the sacrifices that women make and not the ones that men make. In fact, most literature says that “women sacrifice too much” and “men sacrifice too little,” – at least as far as relationships are concerned. “Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice! That’s the condition of the female. Women have been conditioned to sacrifice for centuries,”
Betty Dodson. Much of this literature debunks any honorable attitudes surrounding the act of sacrifice. After all, they claim, women have been sacrificing for men way too many times and, let’s face it, the men are neiter reciprocating the action nor are they greatful for such sacrifices (the customary words seem to fall short of conveying real feeling). There is also a notion that has cropped up in the last twenty or so years that we should get something for our sacrifice. And, women are told not to sacrifice too much for their children for these same reasons. There is an added reason for the children, however, it is simply because we want to set a good example. We want to show our daughters that they don’t have to sacrifice and should not do so for a man (especially) or their children. I Too, have fallen into the trap of warning my family members about “the act of sacrifice.” I am always telling my daughter that she should not sacrifice her interests – those things that she enjoys doing (Music, volleyball, basketball, exercising, and baking), for her relationship. This would make her less of “Dominika” and more of “Someone’s Girlfriend.” and, I do believe that I am right to caution her. It does seem that people go to extremes: either giving an unhealthy sacrifice or not sacrificing at all. Of course, there has to be a balance, but many times, I wonder if we are teaching selfishness and fostering an unhealthy attitude of entitlement in relationships.

Yet, when it comes to a job, people are encouraged to “be adventurous” “embrace the unknown.” Sacrificing for a job is (in most cases) seen as a good move. To Americans, sacrificing for money is appropriate, but sacrificing for family is not. I wonder if it is because money is valued much more than a husband or family. After all, marriage is not valued as it once was. People seem to give up too easily. Or, at the least, the partnership seems to be unbalanced. And, since your children will always be your children; regardless of how much or how little you sacrifice, most people see no point in doing so.
[climbing down from soap box to return to original topic]. {hmm, if I could only insert an image of a person falling from a very high ledge—smile}.

I have noticed that sometimes Desi men and women have to sacrifice their family bonds for their relationship. Sometimes, women give up their high paying promising careers (ones that they might have taken years to build) to stay home with the children. Do we ever look at the naked reality of Sacrifice? When we unearth sacrifice, do we ever actually consider the possibility that we might encounter a raw wound that might grow into a festering sore, if we are not diligent about its care?

I think of my friend, Susie.
[I read many interesting blogs and she is up for an award] she has moved to Saudi Arabia with her husband. Even when her son went back to the states to go to High School, (although she visits him I think about once a year) she has made her home in KSA. her husband does encourage her to go and visit her son and even stay as much as possible until he exits high school. But, when deciding to embark on such a trip, She probably received the same sort of advice that I give to my own daughter.
I know that there are lots of American women who have married men of foreign origin and have had to move to a land where they did not speak the language and found culture and customs unlike their own. I am not trivializing your experiences. I chose Susie because there were many factors that could have inhibited her sacrifice. Susie was not young when she moved. Sure, she was adventurous. But, she was not young. I imagine that she had laid down relationship and comfortable roots somewhere. I know that she had an older daughter that she left behind. This comes at a time in her life when she (or most women even close to her age – myself included) would value security and familiarity; over adventure, new beginnings and discovering new lands with new possibilities.
It is not just the friend and familial connections; although, this is no small sacrifice because she has gone to a place where it is very difficult to forge new connections due to linguistic and cultural barriers beyond her control. She has sacrificed some of her freedom. She has sacrificed her routines, her comfort food, [should we start a comfort food campaign for you Susie??], her interests, her comfort zone and her profession. I don’t know if she feels that her self confidence has been compromised. I don’t know how it would feel to only rely on your husband for those comforts that are typically given by a multitude of family and friends. And, I don’t know if her husband is willing or able to attempt to be her emotional and social lifeline. In short, there are many questions that could be asked of Susie. Did she weigh all of the positives and negatives before deciding to make the sacrifice? Or did she instinctively make the sacrifice out of duty or affection? How much of herself has she sacrificed for her marriage? what is the outcome from that sacrifice? And, Is the beneficiary of such a sacrifice appreciative or even fully aware of the scope of such a sacrifice? I have not asked her if she regrets her sacrifice or if she resents her husband? I have only wondered how many times she must “wander,” down the lane of “what if.” (with some shame, I must admit that) I probably would make that familiar trek all too often. [mental note: I am embarrassed to admit that I am so rigidly connected to *what* I want and not able to be flexible enough to trust in the fact that, if I allow it too, my sacrifice can yield great and unexpected joys].
Rather than delving into Susie’s particular situation, we can use Susie’s circumstances as a springboard to analyze our own questions about sacrifice and how it relates to our lives and relationships. When thinking about our own sacrifices, Here are some questions that we might want to ask ourselves. [Hey, feel free to add to the list].

1. Is there a difference between a gift and a sacrifice? and What have/ are you willing to sacrifice for your marriage or relationship? (money, time, health, energy, friends, freedom, family, interests, career, intellect, pride, ego, faith, …)? And, how much of these things are you willing to sacrifice?

2. What are you *not* willing to sacrifice and why? What fears are behind your unwillingness? Are they founded or unfounded? Do you only feel comfortable sacrificing when you can control the outcome? Has your spouse or family needed/wanted you to sacrifice something that you are unwilling to give up? Was it an appropriate or inappropriate request? Why?

3. What are the obvious and unintended consequences of sacrificing such things? Or, should we even analyze the negative aspect of our sacrificing? By making such an analysis, does it somehow ruin the heart behind the sacrifice?

4. Do you expect to get something for your sacrifice, if so, what? Even in relationships, we sometimes hope that our sacrifice might yield peace, happiness, gratitude, a more loving spouse, etc. Should we have this expectation?

5. When is a sacrifice unhealthy or “not ok?” And, can you make that decision for others?

6. Should you only make a sacrifice if you can do it willingly and/or if you believe that you will arbor no resentment regardless of the outcome? And, should you make the sacrifice only if you can do it cheerfully? “The sacrifice which causes sorrow to the doer of the sacrifice is no sacrifice. Real sacrifice lightens the mind of the doer and gives him a sense of peace and joy: The Buddha gave up the pleasures of life because they had become painful to him,” — Mahatma Gandhi. “Love is not a feeling of happiness. Love is a willingness to sacrifice,” —
Michael Novak

7. Can a sacrifice be conditional? Should a sacrifice be doled out and contracted like a business agreement? And, if so, What types of conditions would you impose … … and what happens if the condition has been breached. Sometimes the breach can leave the sacrifice feeling hollow. What happens then? Do you make a new agreement concerning the sacrifice? Does it make it a sacrifice if there are conditions attached?

8. Should you always talk about the sacrifice with the one you are sacrificing for so they understand the breadth and depth of your choice? In effect, should the one you are sacrificing for always be aware of and know the gravity of the sacrifice?

9. Is a sacrifice really a sacrifice if you continue to evaluate the results of such a sacrifice to determine whether it was worth it or not?

10. Can you retract a sacrifice? If so, what are the conditions surrounding sacrificial retractions? ?

No, Imran and I are not moving to Pakistan and no, he has not overtly or covertly asked me to sacrifice anything important. Hmmm, it occurs to me that I just assumed that you would suspect from this post that I was being asked to sacrifice instead of the possibility that I am asking Imran to sacrifice. In any case, we have and are not going through such a trauma. Yet, in evaluating myself, I realize that I can be quite rigid and like the idea that “I certainly would sacrifice my routine and/or comfort level and/or dreams/thoughts about the way things should go,” much more than the reality of such a sacrifice. I also realize that Imran, in most situations, is much more open and flexible to such possibilities. I am a bit hesitant to say that I “HOPE TO WORK ON THIS,” because, the only way to truly develop a skill or habit or characteristic is to practice it often. I am much more inclined to analyze and discuss than to “practice.” (smile)


finally working

November 30, 2010

Can someone feel joy and frustration at the same time?
Yes! they certainly can.

I had two interviews within the last month.
the first was for an administrative assistant. the position is with the same company that Imran works for. He, actually, forwarded me the position. I applied. I would not be working in the same building as he would be working. But, it is still within the same company. I went for the interview. but, I honestly did not think that I would get the job. I don’t think that I did that well in the interview and It was clear that I would not be the first choice.
The second interview was just last week. It was with a rival company. The job is either “community Guide,” or the “full time Advocate,” or even the “part time Advocate.” they had three positions available.
I actually want a job with this company more. It appeals to my social work sensibilities and degree. I would be working with blind consumers, finding and referring resources, helping with daily independent living skills and doing all types of “social worky” stuff.
I don’t know any of the specifics of the job, such as pay, benefits, insurance, etc.
They were suppose to call me Tuesday if they wanted me to come in for a second interview.
I have not gotten a call yet. I have left one email and one voice message.
but, I thought that (the interview with company number 2) went quite a bit more smoothly than my first interview.
today, I got an offer from:
the company that Imran works for — interview number 1. the position is “Administrative Assistant,” and they offered me the position.
$15 an hour which translates into 30k annually,
free health/dental/vision screenings,
3absent days, 6sick days, holidays.
We do get some bonuses.
And, it says:

Health Benefits eligibility for insurance benefits is contingent upon hours worked.

Benefits will begin the first day of the month following 90 days from date of hire.

Health Insurance

PPO Plan or High Deductable Plan See Human Resources for costs.

PPO Plan Rx Drug Program

$10.00 Generic $30.00 Brand Formulary
$60.00 Non-Formulary Generic or Brand

Life Insurance

Equal to annual earnings or $15,000 (whichever is greater). Maximum benefit $100,000.
(All company paid)

Dental Insurance

Company pays for employee/See Human Resources for dependent costs

VSP Vision Plan

Company pays for employee/See Human Resources for dependent costs
Long Term Disability
All company paid.
403(b) Plan (Pre-Tax Retirement Savings)
All employees are eligible for the voluntary 403(b) plan.
Company match is currently 25% of employee contribution after one year (minimum of 1000 hours) of service.”
(I know that the insurance is through Anthem).
So, do I take it?

Hubby says “yes.”
I had my reservations: ones which seemed quite foreign to him.

1. I did want to work more in a social work field – this is in office and sales
2. I did not think that it was a good idea to say “yes,” and then, if the other job came through, I would have to quit the first.
But, Imran was almost amazed that I did not just take the offer on the spot. “with the current economy…..”
“You know how hard it is for blind people to get a job…..”
“You have been praying for a job…..”

“You act ungreatful….”

I just wanted someone to understand.
sometimes, I think that my desire to volunteer and serve the community in a positive way eludes him. and, I won’t be teaching English anymore, either because that was on Tuesday afternoons.
I don’t think that he sees the value of volunteer work, anyway.
“If they are not paying you, you shouldn’t do it!”
(but, that last comment might be just me writing while I am in a place of frustration).

maybe he just has no concept of my deep desire to assist those who are in need. I mean, I don’t have sympathy, I try for empathy and I believe that it is a good purpose: what we are all called to do in some way. and, I feel that it is a job where I can “connect” with people. I am more interested in making a difference in the lives of others than making the all mighty buck.
Money is great! But, there is something more.
I can’t imagine a person who doesn’t feel that pull to give of themselves by sharing their knowledge, resources, wisdom, etc.

Of course, he is right. I should take the job. After all, why would I apply for a job that I am not willing to take.
and, they have not called me for the second interview, yet. and, in my last discussion (at my interview last week) they said that they were looking to fill the positions quickly: which perplexed me because I could have taken any of the three openings and been glad. and, if they were looking to fill them quickly…. … and i had the right qualifications…. … and the right experiences…… ????

Granted, the company is going through changes and that could be good or bad.
It was not the general decision that I had a problem with.
I am quite nervous (office duties is not my fortay and I’ll have to work a bit to understand all of the software, filing, etc).
and, I actually asked my daughter and family because I did want their opinion and wanted them to feel as if they could talk with me about this decision.

It wasn’t that I was not going to take the job… …
it was just…. ….
I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to have my feelings and thoughts understood.
Again, it was not the final decision. It was the fear of starting a new job, the desire for the other position, the swirl of thoughts and feelings that I wanted him to understand.
i was more astonished at the fact that he didn’t understand my heart.
Maybe it was speaking a language that he just doesn’t understand.
I wonder what language we will be speaking when we discuss money matters?
We have discussed it before:
but, it seems that reality is much different than hypothetical discussions!
Wish me luck!

making the $

May 3, 2010

Ok, I admit that I am unemployed. I have a social work degree and have now gotten my resume online, yet still have not gotten a job.
I found articles about the best blogging sites.
And, I worry, kind of.
I wonder:
1. would my “money making efforts” change the content of the blog? Will I have to maybe — insert that I used “Uncle Ben’s rice” when I tried to make palau for Imran? Or maybe:
[While my daughter drove me to the airport
(because, of course, I can’t drive), she stopped her”name brand car,” and bought
“name brand products,” which we thoroughly enjoyed.]
2. Will there be annoying adds and links when — “IF” people actually visit my blog?

I am not very consumer/materially oriented. Although, I will admit that my computer is on its last leg and will endorse any company that is willing to give me a break on their newest models.
Certainly, I could write product reviews from a disabled person’s prospective. Is it easy to use? Can a blind person who does not read the screen perform the appropriate tasks?
But, I really don’t have money to buy different products for reviewing.
I am not sure.
My blog probably would not be picked, anyway. I don’t have nearly enough traffic.
It was just a thought because I certainly would like to make money.
And, in that vein, I will leave anyone with a link to check out some of my writing.
Although, I will admit that even that is sparce because who knows what the websites really want when it comes to articles?
Making money is certainly tempting, but at what cost?

Check out my written articles and comment at:

Distributing the wealth

February 8, 2010

Let’s talk about money and family.
I know that sometimes Westerners and nonwesterners view money and duties to family a bit different.
Here are some questions that couples need to ask when they are in an intercultural relationship:
1. how many accounts – mine, yours, ours?? If there is an “ours,” do both of you have the same access to the account? What happens if he wants to spend money? What is the process for you if you want to spend money? If there is a “his” account, does he feel comfortable with you inquiring about the account? With an interfaith/intercultural relationship, it is important to note how the money will be spent. Some men feel that the money that they make is for themselves, bills and household items. The money that a woman makes is entirely hers and should be spent at her leisure and not spent on household items such as cleaning supplies and food. this is quite a liberal attitude. Will he look in your account? Will he get angry if you ask him about transactions in either his own or the shared accounts? Does he feel emmasculated if you add some of your own money to the “shared account?”
2. How should the money be spent? What happens if a family member needs/wants some money? Will he discuss it with you? Will you discuss it with him? What happens if one of you disagree with the other? In cultures that are not western, it is common for the son to send back money for his family. they have supported him and now his job is to help them. Yes, it is true that the family in the other country has misconceptions about life in the USA. They think that we are living the american dream and any information to the contrary is to play down our wealth. So, what if the family wants/needs money? It is best to let your husband handle this. I realize that this is easier said than done: especially if your husband is a taxi driver instead of a prominent lawyer or executive. But, if you question his decision, you question his loyalty. There might be times when you wonder if it is sound financial advice. Family loyalty, respect and such are more important. If he wants to set some boundaries, he will need to do this himself. I am using “him,” because most women are not asked to send home money unless they are in a very lucrative position.I am not sure about professional women. I am sure about men who come to America. So, I use the construction of a male because it is much more common. As a western woman, all you can do is to support your husband. Sending money home is not open for discussion or debate. It is what it is. And, you would not want to nag him into not sending. first, even if he understands your feelings and thinks that you are right in your points; he will feel like a disloyal and disrespectful son. It will bring on large pangs of guilt. He will want to pacify his family. And, honestly, he will feel that you are quite selfish for not understanding that his family has (by in large) a much simpler lifestyle than you and he have in the west. Furthermore, there was probably someone who helped support him to come to America and probably even sponsored him when he was in the USA with no money. He realizes that he is interdependent — we all are. This is a collective approach and not an individualistic one. Many of us in the USA are individualists at heart so this might be difficult to understand. Besides, American family members ask for small amounts of money all of the time. And, many times, the money is given.
For me:
I don’t mind him sending money to his family. I would rather send some on a regular basis, so I know how to budget: … … $100 every month or something.
I am not materialistic and although I want to travel, I also understand helping family. In fact, my own family (my children) might need a bit of help from time to time. Having a disability, I realize that we are all interdependent and should use any of our many gifts to help those in need; especially our loved ones. I think what bothers me the most is that:
1. family believes that we have lots of extra money to give
2. Even if he wanted to deny them, even if he thought that we couldn’t afford it, even if he felt as if his family was exploiting him; he couldn’t/wouldn’t say “no,” or even “wait.”
This devotion to family is a double-edged sword.
But, honestly, I am resigned to it and if I want to work to make a bit more money for ourselves, I can.
I would rather him be generous than stingy. I admire and support his family loyalty and his generosity. Also, I am not materialistic, myself. I don’t need lots of clothes. I don’t shop on a regular basis. My house is (and will be when I move) void of many trinkets and dudas that just sit around collecting dust. Sure, I enjoy music, a good meal out and would enjoy traveling. But, I am not the jewlry/makeup kind of woman and I don’t spend much on frivolace things.

Oh, and I am willing to share my money with his family, if necessary. He and I already talk about finances, and we have committed to do so after the marriage. I can look into our account whenever I want. Our accounts and our spending will be accessible to each other. He knows that when I ask about finances, I am not doing so because I believe that he is incompetent or unable to handle the finances. Certainly, I do trust him. Sometimes, I just might want to know if we can afford a specific item or have some similar queary. If he asks me about my purchases, I also know that it is not because he does not trust me to make good decisions. In fact, I believe that I have shown a pattern of good decisions and he is glad that I don’t shop excessively. In any case, it took some talking to thresh out this subject, but it has now happened. On I do realize where the proof lies: on to the pudding!