I often get my blog posts ideas from random things that happen during my day. Today is one of those days where I spent half the day at work roaming around trying to keep busy during orientation and the other half was boring and uneventful. However, the meeting with my benefits advisor made me think about some things. (yes, meeting with the benefits guy was the highlight of my day….sad)
We were discussing my health insurance, dental, vision and a whole lot of other stuff you can barely understand but you think you might need. There was so much fine print my eyes were bleeding and I was trying to act intelligent and nod like I knew what on earth he was talking about. To his credit he really did do a good job explaining stuff but my brain is fried from being oriented to a new job and it was in no mood to receive any more new information. Thankfully there was only one medical plan to choose from, otherwise, I would have been toast.
Anyways, we got to the critical injury and accident coverage benefits and it got me thinking. When I saw the words stroke, heart attack, brain injury, cancer and a whole host of other things I didn’t need any convincing to sign up for the extra $2.24 it was gonna cost me a paycheck. However, what struck me was that although I was signing up for this preventative coverage for a ‘just in case’ situation, I didn’t honestly believe that was ever going to happen. This got me thinking….
Every day we earn money and spend it on all sorts of preventative measure. We pay money in case our house catches fire, we pay to protect us in case we get in a car accident, we pay to prevent bankruptcy from a medical emergency and the list goes on and on and on. We pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to take care of us ‘just in case’ any of these things happen. But do we really believe that they could? As teenagers we all have the invisible syndrome. We walk around earth thinking that nothing bad will ever happen to us, no consequences will ever need to be faced, and that bad stuff only happends to ‘some’ people and mostly ‘bad’ kids. We hope as adults and as our brain develops and matures that we change and realize that we are simple, fragile creatures that can break at any moment. But does this really ever happen? Do I really walk around differently now as an adult than I did as a teenager? Do I drive slower and more cautious, do I think about every possible consequence before I act, do I live every day as if it’s my last? Honestly….not really. I’m still a fast driver (because I don’t know how to do ANYTHING slow), I still make impulsive decisions sometimes, and I still think nothing bad will ever happen to me if I work hard enough.
So here I am signing up to pay money for something that I don’t really believe will ever happen to me and I realize how ridiculous and egotistical that sounds. I work in a career that allows me to see young and old, healthy and fit people have strokes and accidents that change their whole lives. I witness human beings struggling to move their hands to their shoulders, climb up 2 stairs, put one foot in front of the other, or stand. They struggle to put words together, remember names, focus on a task or keep the motivation to continue a long and painful journey. I see this, I feel this, I work on this and yet I still don’t truly believe I’ll ever be in that position. I look at my arms and think they’ll always be strong, I walk down the hall and never doubt my legs will always work. I talk and laugh never once thinking I might wake up one day not being able to. But I’ll pay my 2 dollars just so I can feed into my invisibility complex. Might as well, right?
Sounds crazy, but from a small discussion about a benefit, that was gonna cost me less money than a loaf of bread, I learned something about myself. I realized that 75% of the time I take my life for granted. I’m so quick to complain about things that I don’t have or ways that I’ve been wrong but very rarely look at all the wonderful things my life is full with. I have a wonderful husband and 2 beautiful, healthy children who are smart and well behaved. How many people can honestly say that? I have a job, a degree, a house, 2 cars and I’m only 24. How many 24 year olds can say that? I walk around everyday not ever thinking this is my last moment to feel this healthy, or have use of all my limbs. I have an invisibility complex…. Do you?
So today I vow to start changing my mindset. Bad, scary things happen to REALLY GOOD PEOPLE! Life can change in a moment. We are little pawns in this game of life and we never know when we will be checkmated. I don’t want to live my life with regret but I don’t want to walk around in ignorance either. I want to live every day to the fullest extent. I want to laugh, love, hug, kiss, talk, touch and care to the absolute max every day. I want to value my health and my body and know that cancer could invade at any moment and I should be prepared for that possibility because I’m not untouchable. I am human and if there is anything I’ve learned about humans it’s that even at our strongest we can be physically defeated.
I’m going to pay the $2.24 every paycheck but the lessons I’ve learned with that money is going to make me a much better person. Thank you benefits package for opening my eyes!
Hoping you all learn to throw away invisibility and live life to the fullest with a target on your back…..