The best advice I ever received was from my father, “Never carry more than you can afford to lose.” Of course, he was talking about money. As a young man, he had nothing, a father who died too early, a mother to care for, and rented land to farm. Not a penny must be lost! My father is now worth more than he cares to tell us, his children, but his net worth means nothing compared to the father he is. I was blessed with a father who loves me. I never questioned his love for me, ever.
As I pack for trips, I always carry several separate bags… drives my husband crazy at times but I never carry more than I can afford to lose. Ever. If one bag is lost, at least I didn’t lose everything.
I think about my health in these terms a lot too. “Never carry more than you can afford to lose.” I break it down to physical health, mental health, and overall well-being. I can’t afford to lose all these things at the same time, so I split them up, putting each in its own ‘bag’. Sometimes a bag is lost, but it is eventually returned to the lost and found and I still had the other two bags with me. Sometimes two bags were lost but I always manage to hang onto at least one. I’m never left with a total loss.
Physical health for those of us with a chronic illness is fleeting, but it can be managed. It can be prepared for and dealt with, MOST of the time. Then there are the hospital stays, you’ve lost your physical health but you have your mental health and a sense of overall well-being.
There are times when your mental health is alarming. People in constant pain become depressed. Who wouldn’t? But you go to a therapist, you seek out something to assist you with the chemical imbalances your body is going through. You may lose your mental health and go to the hospital again, but you have your physical health and overall sense of well-being.
So this ‘well-being’ word. What do I mean by this? Health, happiness, and contentment? Your well-being is how you define it. To some, it might mean you have a roof over your head, clean water to drink, healthy food to eat. To others, simply that you can still laugh! In general, things that bring you peace, comfort and happiness are often those things that are deemed positive towards our feelings of well-being.
Never carry more than you can afford to lose. Learn to look at your life departmentally and prioritize what you cannot afford to lose and make sure you spread those things out, knowing if at any one time you lose one or even two of these things, the one bag you are holding onto is still with you. The rest will return as soon as they are found.
Just remember, “Never carry more than you can afford to lose.”