It's been awhile since I've written, so hopefully this blog is worthy of my 5 week hiatus on the blog posts! I'll be truthful, with everything going on in the world, there were a million things I felt I could have wrote about and about 2 million things I shouldn't. Ever since "quarantine" in mid-March, I've made it a point to spend more time outdoors walking. Normally I am a "fair-weather" outside walker/runner - it can be cold - 35-40, but little to no wind preferred. I made the decision that anything under 20 was acceptable and above 20 degrees (yes, it's still that cold in North Dakota in March). Here we are, almost 5 months later, and while I missed some days, it doesn't happen too often that I do. I created accountability for myself because if I can't be self-motivated, then nothing is going to stick. I even get my kids to join me every once in awhile (they ride in the stroller for pace of walk haha!). I love that they enjoy the outdoors and being active. It's things my husband and I want to instill in them. They love eating peas from the garden and watching it grow and help harvest and even picking weeds. Do they still get too much TV time...probably, but life is all about balance isn't it?
Each person on this earth is granted a certain amount of health and life. While some humans are lost in the womb, others make it 100+ years of making a footprint on this earth. Each person is given a certain set of DNA. Genes that make us who we are. Whether we have brown, blonde, black, or red hair, or blue, brown, hazel, or green eyes. Our genes also can determine if we are predisposed to other genetic disorders as well. Those who know me, have probably heard my story before, and guess what, you’re going to hear it again..well, just a few parts! So many times, health and life are taken for granted, or better yet, we run scared and fail to enjoy life. There is NOTHING you can do to prevent yourself from dying, but there is EVERYTHING you can do to enjoy life to the fullest.
When I was born in 1985, it appeared I was a healthy baby when I was born. A short 3 months later, after failing to gain weight, my skin color turning blue at times due to lack of oxygen, it was time to look into this more. My parents brought me to our nurse practioner at the time where she noticed some loud heart murmurs. I was then sent to Fargo for further testing where it was found my heart basically looked like swiss cheese! I had an ASD, multiple VSDs, and an enlarged aorta. These have all lead up to my lifelong journey dealing with Childhood Heart Defects (CHDs), which have prompted multiple open-heart surgeries to repair holes, a band on the aorta, and my pulmonary valve being replaced. I have actually had my pulmonary valve replaced twice due to wear. My first lasted 12 years and my current valve has been in for 7. For me, my health and my life are a blessing. I was not born or given perfect health. Many people are in my same boat and it sucks. Whether you were born with a CHD, a small or shortened limb like my brother, down syndrome, spina bifida, mental incapacities, or any other genetic or non-genetic defect that a person can be born with, you ALL still have the ability to do great things!
As I’ve gotten older and knowing my health issues that I was born with, I know that in order to be able to enjoy life to the fullest, I have to take accountability for my own health. Yes, I go to my regular doctor visits, but I don’t depend on my doctor to keep me healthy every day, that’s not his job. He watches my heart and trusts me to let him know when somethings not right, but he also encourages me to push myself. It also helps that I have encouraging parents, relatives, and friends along the way as well. I know too many kids who are born with issues or a disability, that their parents fail to see their ability and only see a disability. I also know many kids who are born healthy and develop health issues as a young age because parents take their health for granted. We need to teach our kids to make healthy choices. There is no way I would be running half-marathons and had 2 healthy pregnancies if I would have decided one day that, “oh well, my heart's already bad, why does it matter”. It’s your job parents – you need to be accountable to your children! While most of us imagine we will always be there for our children, the truth is, not everyone gets that chance. So how do we create long-term accountability for ourselves and our children? Accountability starts with making sure you are protected financially. What tools do you have in place that will help protect your loved ones once you are no long alive? Parents, if you don’t have life insurance, reach out, take that step. It might feel like jumping off a cliff right now, but creating a safety net for your loved ones is one of the best things you can do. I know it’s hard to justify putting money aside for something you will never see put into action, but knowing your family is taken care of is worth every penny. Having this first step checked off in your financial plan is a huge step. This tool allows for so many different options when it comes to retirement because when you have life insurance, it takes the pressure off using other monies you have saved (401K, work retirement, other investments), if you feel like you want to “save” for the kids, or just in case. Living a “just-in-case” retirement is what way too many people do because they don’t have the proper tools in place. We understand that everyone’s situation is different, but how can we help find the right tools to fit your needs, but also, maybe still help you achieve some of those lifetime goals.
As a family owned business, we want families to succeed. We know not everyone is going to be a millionaire, but what steps can we help you take to be happy? How can we help you plan for that vacation? A savings goal? Retirement goals? Paying for college? Long-term care planning? We have comprehensive services to help build attainable goals for your future. We are now in our 3rd generation and when a child (who is now a 60-year-old adult) comes in to file a death claim for their parent, my dad knew the parent, even though my grandpa wrote the policy. I have had classmates who have unfortunately already seen a parent pass away that my dad knew their parent and wrote a policy for. We want to have a sense of comfort for our clients that they can come in and know we will take care of them the best of our ability. Having generations creates accountability because while we all work a little differently and a bit different skill set, our goals of customer service and care are always at the forefront. Please feel free to reach out to us with any financial related questions you may have. We are happy to help and offer guidance based on our knowledge and expertise.
Have a blessed day!