Thursday, April 03, 2008

Hitting a Raw Nerve

I had to go to a surgeon today to consult with him about two wisdom teeth I need removed. It turned out that I would be only partly covered under my scheme, so the process is going to cost $500, which I understand is fairly cheap, all things considered. It's always interesting what your instinctive response is when you hear a response like that. And to tell you the truth, I was quite pleased with mine. Basically, my response ran along along the lines "That's a bit annoying, but that's life". I can remember some years back when I'd had to pay the excess of $850 for a car accident and I thought that it was the end of the world. But then of course, I was an impoverished student at that point in time.

For the most part, I'm fairly comfortable with my attitude towards money. I've never been a particularly materialistic person, and I don't really see that changing anytime in the near future. If I wanted to, I would have the capacity to significantly increase my income over the next few years, but the truth is that even now I am living well below my means. I realise all too well that were I to have a family later on in life, my costs would more than likely skyrocket. That said, if a married couple in the Western Suburbs with three children on a combined income of $40,000 can make ends meet, albeit only barely, how is it that so many families on a combined income of twice that find themselves over their head? I really do think that we've become a very consumerist culture, where so many of the things that people regard of necessities are really the luxuries of yesteryear.

The other interesting thing was when the surgeon advised that I might experience some pain over the following week and that I might have to be off work during this time. My instinctive response? Quite simply "But I get to take this time off work, right?" Not that I hate my job by any stretch of the imagination, but I've been feeling fairly worn out lately. You keep complaining about this like it's a badge of honour, but you don't do anything about it until such time as circumstances force you to take time off to rest. I can imagine that week as being a strange one, in which I enjoy the fact that I get some time off, but experience this alongside physical pain. And hopefully when I return back, I'll feel refreshed and ready to work to full capacity again.

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