Posting past 9pm seems to be my new norm for this blog. Tonight’s schedule is set by something completely different, yet familiar. A dear friend had an accident and broke a wrist and an arm, and I have the honor and privilege of the title of primary caregiver. Sound familiar? Check back to last year’s blog post, Health And Wealth, when I took a friend to the hospital because she broke her wrist. I won’t go into details because, as much as I am open about my money and my life, I equally respect others privacy. Money and Life are described as a balancing act, but the fact that they are even closely considered is a sign that modern priorities are skewed. Privacy is important. Money and Life, Wealth and Health, are mirrored trades that have the most important words last: Life, Health.
As far as the incident and the implication goes, last year’s story could be pasted into this year’s story. The topic then was the affordability of health care, how wealth affects health. The main added public element is ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act, the bane of a portion of the Republican Party. Despite all of the debate, the bill’s impact is unknown, even as I watched a real life incident unfold. Even if health care is more affordable, it is affordable enough? I don’t think anyone knows.
Recent readers know how busy I have been. All of the debates were shoved aside. Appointments, meetings, other obligations become reasons for apologetic emails and phone messages.
Many people debate flaws in our economy, or discuss the designs for alternatives; but those are still abstractions designed for abstractions layered over the necessities of life. Many people comment on solutions. I find myself drawn to those who touch necessities. A video of a pundit backdropped by mahogany bookcases is much less appealing and credible than a video of a person backdropped by a place that’s obviously not an office. Theory is a wonderful mental exercise, but when it is time to get something done listen to someone who’s done something, and if the situation is dynamic enough listen to someone who is doing something. Yesterday’s lessons may not apply today. Just ask any young person who tried to follow conventional wisdom about getting a job based on a college degree, who has now found that the cost of education and the resultant debt can’t be addressed by today’s job opportunities.
I find more insight from friends who have set up small scale farms, or are trying to develop sustainable businesses, or are going off-grid and walking away from convention and towards innovation and individualized solutions. Their stories carry far more weight than Nobel Prizes or PhDs. I can learn more a friend growing kale than I can learn from the Secretary of Agriculture.
The doctors, nurses, and myriad of other titles carried by the people that cared for my friend rarely focused on the money. They calmly, professionally, and competently focused on the highest priority of life. I was there for an unfortunate reason, but heartened to witness caring without judgment repeated to yet another collection of unfortunate strangers. They were a great reminder of what is real and what is necessary. They cared about life.
My priority now is to close this email and exercise some self-care. Maybe a snack. Maybe a bit of reading. Every moment is one moment closer to my friend returning to full recovery. Business will be rearranged. Interruptions happen. Reasonable people understand that. I am glad I know reasonable people. Pardon me as I check my priorities. Sleep. Yup. That’s a priority.