I tend to be a planner. It’s just the way I’m wired, I guess. I like to think things through, weigh different options, come to well thought-out conclusions. I also tend to be a daydreamer – a combination that sometimes drives Rochelle a little nuts. (Like last week, when I told her that I’d decided that if I were a commercial farmer, I would raise free-range, non-GMO, hormone free poultry, with pigs on the side.)
Anyway, I enjoy having given thought to something before I actually encounter the situation. I think it just helps me knowing that a circumstance has been considered before it’s completely necessary (or possibly even relevant). For instance, what if you were given the opportunity to receive super powers, but only had 10 seconds to decide which ones you wanted? Wouldn’t it stink if you chose something stupid, like X-ray vision, just because you were caught off guard by the situation? (I’m pretty well decided on something comparable to what the Human Torch has, though Wolverine’s skill set still holds some definite appeal.)
This type of thinking isn’t limited to what some might consider “fanciful matters” though. Sometimes my mind enters into the realms of practical preparedness as well. Like before we headed over to PNG for the first time, when Rochelle and I set up our Living Trust, and had a lawyer put into writing exactly what we wanted to happen with our kids and our $37.82 worth of “assets” in the event that we get eaten by crocodiles while overseas.
I also tried to set up term life insurance for us, to ensure a modest standard of living for whichever family members hadn’t been eaten by reptiles, but that endeavor didn’t go quite as smoothly as I had expected. It turns out insurance companies don’t feel comfortable with the odds that someone moving to PNG is going to live very long. Apparently, though I am 28 years old, in reasonably good shape, with no injuries or diseases, and don’t smoke or drink, I am considered a “high-risk” individual.
In fact, one of the insurance company representatives that I spoke with worked for a provider that regularly writes life insurance plans for active duty military personnel. Here is a real conversation that I had with him:
Representative: “I’m sorry, Mr. Callahan. It looks like we won’t be able to underwrite a policy for you.”
Me: “But don’t you sell insurance to soldiers in combat zones?”
Representative: “Yes, we do.”
Me: “But you won’t sell insurance to me?”
Representative: “That’s correct.”
Me: “So, you’re OK insuring people who are regularly being shot at by enemy insurgents in the Middle East, but you won’t cover me because I’m moving to Papua New Guinea?”
So, it would seem that I’m more likely to die doing humanitarian work in the jungle than I am defusing roadside bombs in the desert. At least, according to the insurance companies. There’s an encouraging thought to take with you as you pack up your family and head overseas.
You may be wondering why I’m even bringing this up now, considering I gave up on procuring life insurance almost a year ago. Well, I hadn’t even given the issue much thought until we arrived back in the States two months ago. Apparently, insurance companies have an odd sense of humor, because, after I spent weeks looking online and phoning different companies, and being rejected time and again, these same companies have taken it upon themselves to send me bi-weekly advertisements, insisting that they have the perfect plan for me. (And, yes, I did call one to check. Nothing has changed. I’m still on the “probably going to die prematurely” list.)
[Editor’s Note: After proofreading this post, Rochelle feels that I should also include how I recently organized it so we would move to a new apartment AND start potty-training Tucker, both within a week and a half after she gave birth to Griffin. I don’t see how this fits in with a blog post about my awesome planning skills, but whatever.]