Midway through the Back to Blogging challenge. Day Three? To repost a blog post with a title you especially liked. Searching through the archives, I found a lot of uninspired blog post titles. But I did find one I thought was clever, so below you'll find the post from July 8, 2010:
Money Can't By You . . . Health Care?
Yesterday, my first errand set me behind schedule. I spent the rest of the day running late until finally after supper, Andy proposed we go lake trout fishing. As I sat in the bobbing boat, it felt like the first time I’d sat still all day.
I had a moment as I was driving home last night. I was halfway home and still had one last errand to run. This after a day of laundry, grocery shopping, recording a commentary, finishing up a documentary, and making two batches of blueberry jam among other sundry errands. And it was my day off.
“Why am I doing this?” I thought to myself. Don’t get me wrong, I really like what I do and it’s my resistance to let go of any of my tasks that leads to my days off wearing me out more than my work days. As of late, I also get compensated fairly well for my efforts and after a pretty pauper-ish winter, that feels pretty good. But is it worth it? At the end of the day do the numbers in my online bank statement justify the bags beneath my eyes?
Conventional wisdom is that if you work your butt off when you’re younger so that you can reap the benefits in your old age. But since retirement seems to be going the way of the American Dream, one has to wonder: what if it’s always like this?
When I was researching an end of life article a few months back, I spoke with a health care provider who said, “You can do whatever you want at the end of your life, as long as you can pay for it.” Okay, I’m picking up what you’re putting down, but really are our lives spelled out in such crude monetary terms?
I’ve yet to reconcile myself with the fact that my gross annual income plunks me right in the midst of the middle class and prevents me from getting any possible break on my health insurance. What? I’m not still just a poor college student? It’s just no fun watching big bits of your paycheck whoosh away towards a health care plan you can’t really afford to use. No fun, but a cultural sucker punch I’m willing to deal with because I’m not willing to have a medical emergency bankrupt me.
I kept driving and kept thinking and I realized the running around happens for a few reasons. First of all, there are bills to pay. Of course, if I made a little less money, it seems I’d have access to better health care options. But that’s just not worth it, not when comes the biggie: many, many, many years from now, I don’t want to die in some miserable, icky nursing home because it was all I could afford. Oh I know, things change, fiscal security comes and goes, but when I deeply wonder what the heck I’m doing this all for, all I have to do is imagine some really awful nursing home. There will come a day when the running around ceases and when that day comes, I want to be darn sure that I get to spend it in a place with a nice garden.
So I run around. Partly because of the imaginary icky nursing home. But mostly, because I wouldn’t want to not do anything of the things I’m doing this summer.
I like this blog title because it merges something familiar with what I hoped was something thought provoking. Of course the post just went on to be a rant about how hard it is to be a twenty-something dealing with the American Dream, but really ,what did you expect? ;)