It's apparently a famous quote, but I had never heard it before. So...
On the wall of my class at school hangs a poster. It says, "It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages."
What a useful way of looking at it.
It's kind of like on Saturdays, I work at a local cafe. I'm a kitchen hand, which is basically to say that I wash dishes, and take out rubbish.
But I don't feel bad about it, and neither do my workmates. I know that every single person in that kitchen is crucial to the success of the cafe, and my!, it's a busy place. Yes, I wash dishes, but if I stepped away for an hour and no-one else took over, the kitchen would be a shambles within an hour. The same goes for our barista, for the grill cooks, for the baker, the chefs. Everyone in that kitchen is of crucial importance to the success of the place and the quote I wrote up above carries with it the same thought. It divides the responsibility throughout the entire system of purchases, where, yes, the employer is important - but so is the employee, and even moreso, the customer. The places which treat their employees with disrespect don't understand that.
I am at a point in my life where I have contentment throughout. I study at SIT under tutors who I see as capable educators and especially the guy who gives me the bulk of the course, an experienced and very recent quantity surveyor with loads of experience.
I own a house which is within walking distance of city centre, with a large, sheltered back yard and a mortgage payment which we think we can comfortably carry. (We bought the house for $177,000 with a $35,400 deposit, so we are now paying off a $141,600 mortgage at $184 a week. Minimum wage is $610 a week.)
The Kid will start school in May and I have talked to the various people involved extensively, and I trust them. The management of the school is long-serving and dedicated, and the atmosphere supporting. The Kid's class has a teacher aide. It's a 700-metre walk from home, with the medical centre right across the road, the toy library right across the road, and my school another 2-minute walk away. Yesterday I even realised that The Kid's friend from preschool starts at the exact same school on the same exact day! So overall, I feel contentment about The Kid starting school and it's a big deal for me.
The Kid has a great orthopedic surgeon at the hospital and the leg casts are done for this year, so we now have a year of unencumbered swimming pool visits ahead of us (with a pool a 400-metre walk away.)
Within about two years I see myself working close to full time in construction, and The Man starting to tune back his work so he can take care of our kids instead. The house will, by then, be much more functional, so...
...I'm not even sure why I feel the need to write about it at such length, given that I've actually wasted the time I had set aside on another project, but the main thing is, things are looking well and I am very, very content with where we are at the moment.
PS. An evening trip to the playground.