Eric asserted yesterday that I was the driving force behind this move. That is not exactly true. It was Eric who came up with the destination for his sabbatical. I have been ambivalent at every step. However, when he suggested at one point that this was altogether too BIG a move and that perhaps Montreal or another institution in the United States would be a wiser choice, my reaction was clear. Ecuador is a once in a lifetime opportunity, it would be folly not to take advantage of the possibility. That was before I knew that we had to empty the house, perhaps sell it, and for some reason it never occurred to me that I would not be working as a physician.
I did not realize that we would be living on such a reduced salary. I have no idea how to live simply and have never kept to a budget. I wonder if Eric sees this as an opportunity to change our lives so dramatically, that we can never go back to the life we once had. We have lived to excess for too long, much like the rest of the nation. The crisis in the economy has forced many to change the way they spend and the way they live. We will be doing the same.
I have to admit that I am not worried about our budget or our financial limitations. It is the balance of power between Eric and I that makes me uncomfortable. We have always kept our accounts separate and have spent our respective incomes without consultation. All the bills get paid including Tara's exorbitant NYU tuition, Maya's violin and ballet lessons, and my travel addiction. The difference will now be that I will have no money of my own and I cannot just spend carelessly without consulting with Eric. What will it be like to ask for grocery money or for personal things that I never hesitate to buy? Will I be on an allowance, much like my teen years? In truth, I began working by 14, so I am accustomed to having my own bank account and freedom to spend as I wish. For a very short time during my first marraiage, when I was waiting to get my green card and my license to practice medicine in the United States, I was dependent on my husband financially, but there was so much more going on beteween us then, that money was not an issue. This will be my first expereince as a 'dependent'. Who knows, I may enjoy it! I wonder if the relationship I have with Eric will not only be altered, but that we will never be able to go back to the way we were. This move will change our lives forever in may different ways.