How do you feel about new year’s resolutions?
Everywhere you looked the year started with people announcing New Years Resolutions and talking about their goals.
Why wasn’t I suddenly waking up and feeling like being a better version of myself?
With big things on the horizon and our plan ticking along nicely, we were looking forward to getting into the new year. This was the year of putting our heads down and bums up and really trying to save and prep for the big trip. It took a couple of weeks to shake the dust off the feet from the holiday and shake the cobwebs from the brains after a little too much celebrating at New Years, and really begin to work out what 2016 meant to us.
Crispy became Mr Motivation! This was going to be the year of productivity! No more procrastination, no more endless nights in front of the telly. On the other hand, I wasn’t quite on the same page yet. I’d just signed up for Netflix!
With the new year starting, and with every mention of ‘resolutions’, I felt more and more like I’d failed in some way by not preparing to kick the new year off with a BANG! I felt a real pressure. I found myself a little fearful and unready for some of the big changes we needed to make to in 2016.
Have you ever felt like that?
Change is scary. Having a goal which is so far off into the distance makes it tough. It can be hard to see the point of missing out on things in the now. It’s that old problem of putting off instant gratification for the sake of long-term satisfaction!
I knew what needed to be done but I was scared I might not be able to do it. This is where my commitment to the plan would be really challenged. But first I just needed to find some motivation!
In the meantime, we were presented with our biggest challenge yet. Late last year Crispy’s niggling back, which we’d always just managed with a bit of physio here and there, deteriorated to the point where (after much nagging) we went off to get some proper investigations done. One step at a time, we got a CT scan, a referral to a specialist, an MRI and by the new year, we were waiting for an appointment to discover the results.
It was looking pretty serious.
What would all this mean for the plan? He’s in a lot of pain. The rest we had over the holiday break wasn’t enough to put things right. The really strong painkillers they put him on weren’t really helping much, In fact, they were making him feel sick and dizzy. The pain was really making it tough for him to work. Not great when you run your own business.
We were worried.
What it If he needed to have surgery?
This would mean at least 12 weeks of not working at all! What if even after the surgery and the recovery, he was still not able to work to his full capacity? What if he couldn’t continue in the trade he worked so hard to get into?
It began to seem like a real setback. To many people, it would’ve seemed like an insurmountable hurdle.
But we sincerely viewed it as just a challenge we would need to overcome. Undoubtedly, it was shaping up to be our biggest challenge for the year ahead, but the plan would go on.
So the good news was, yes he does need surgery. Not just a bulging disc, but a prolapsed disc is pressing on the nerves in his spine.
“That’s the good news?” I hear you say.
Straight after discovering that this was the solution to all our problems, we then discovered we had more problems.
Our basic health insurance we have had for several years, it turns out, is less than ‘Basic Hospital Cover’, and guess what? The surgery he needs is not covered. We now had 2 options. The surgery was now going to cost us $12,000, or we’d need to wait for a minimum of 12 months for him to have it. 12 months, of which he will continue to be in pain. 12 months, during which his business would suffer. 12 months that we now have to add to our weekly expenses, the increased cost of higher level health insurance, (just when we are trying to reduce our cost of living).
But worst of all, 12 months where he is hurting every day.
It was a real blow. He feels really guilty, scared and overwhelmed
But we are so set on making our trip happen, we never once thought that this would change anything. Our timeline might change, our financial situation might change, but our commitment is still strong. We just have to find a way!
So, this led us to 4+ hours of strategic planning. We sat down with all our paperwork in front of us and we talked and brainstormed and researched until we were able to see our way forward again. We made call after call to gather information about health insurance and public hospital options. We spoke to people about our income protection insurance and other fail-safes we had in place and discovered some really smart things we had set up in the past (like taking loan protection on our car loan) were going to make this a whole lot easier.
We worked out the worst case scenario, and then worked out how we will tackle that, and if we are able to manage that, then anything else is just a bonus.
And I guess that’s the lesson! We can’t give up because it seems difficult or because of fear. We can’t throw our hands in the air and say “Well I guess that’s that.” If we want it bad enough, then we just have to find a way, no matter what comes up. And, we will face it together, because that is what we do.