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5 Mar 2010

Post 189: Respect for independence

Qualities I have always yearned for and admired throughout this mortal coil are freedom and independence, particularly independence. Before I start to sound like that Monkey George W Bush or like a screenplay writer for that fantastic, seminal film Armageddon, independence or the ability to look after yourself is a quality that stands you out as a human and is one of my major sources of distress since my stroke. As I say in the intro to this blog, I was for the first time in my life (at the ripe old age of 28 feeling like I was the master of my own destiny and pilfering the words from inspirational stroke survivor Jill Bolte-Taylor, 'I was the choreographer of my own life'.
Now I am not but I try to survive with the minimum of help, and what help I do get compared to a normal person is Jaw dropping, when I was healthy and independent I could barely keep up with the constant bombardment of admin, bills, tax demands, blah – my 73 year old dad (bless 'im) has taken on being my 'power of attorney' and deals with the myriad letters (that I can't actually open or read because I have neither the opposable digits or the sight) and makes sure the plentiful demands for payment are legit and are paid promptly out of my bank account. I am extremely grateful to him for this because despite him having sight and de facto control of my finances, I am financially independent, probably the key pillar of self-respect that we, as humans have. Being financially independent is something I've always had respect for, certainly since I left university. Despite being financially independent I haven't always been financially responsible, perhaps borrowing a bit much here, stretching an overdraft limit or a credit facility there, not planning for the inevitable rainy day and perhaps
most foolishly of all, re mortgaging my flat to pay for a conservatory that ended up being built on empty cans of Stella (not my finest hour)! Yes, the credit crunch probably happened because of dicks like me but thanks to some useful critical illness cover and the heroism of my parents my creditors got paid in full! Anyway, I borrowed what I was allowed to borrow. Perhaps not the smartest or most austere thing I've ever done but at least I had a laugh before the carpet was pulled from under my feet.
What has prompted this post is the distinct lack of respect I have for people who aren't remotely interested in financial independence and there's a lot of it in this part of the world,
you've probably noticed me allude to it before. This resentment probably comes from the changing of my status from 'catch' to 'throw away' which is probably the thing I feel most acutely. Someone the other day was busy giving me the 'fundamentally you haven't changed' spiel -Bullsh*t is my invariable response – when I used to talk to people I used to look them in the eye and smile (most of the time) now, it is beyond me. Smiling makes me look like a stupid cartoon character and opening my right eye seems to be too difficult these days. I hate to sound like I'm complaining but it's hard not to. I think deep down I've retained my sense of humour, it's just harder to deliver it these days, whereas I would have been quite happy to use the phone I'm not comfortable with it these days. I still think face to face chatting is where it's at despite feeling as self conscious as a Saddam Hussein lookalike
at a Mississippi monster truck rally.

1 comment:

Hill said...

We’ve been stumbling around the internet and found your blog along the way.

We love your work! What a great corner of the internet :)


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