Life Choices

Came across this quote today about the way we live our lives and absolutely loved it…

” “I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security.” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer?

In choice. Which shall it be – bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?””


Bankruptcy of purse has never scared me, but bankruptcy of life?  That is terrifying!

Journey for Mental Wellness

Julie and I started this blog hoping to chronicle our journey  either back to the farm or onto some other adventure. We hope those days will come and that we’ll have many moments of happiness and joy.  And while we will use this blog for when those things happen, I’m afraid that the first journey that needs to be taken is a journey toward mental wellness for me.

I’m not sure how “exciting” of a journey that will be for any of you to follow. I’m not even sure how much of that we’re going to be willing to share. Mental health issues are very sensitive, and there is almost always a very negative stigma associated with them.  I have many raw emotions and will have lots of shame and embarrassment to overcome.  Some of that you won’t hear about.

I know for a fact that there are things about my trauma that I won’t share.   But there are others things that I think I wouldn’t mind, like even admitting that I have PTSD, or that I’m getting mental health treatment from the VA.   Some things I think will be helpful to talk about and share because it will help me to learn to stop the pattern of avoidance and isolation.   I think I’ll need to share them in order to get better.

I also think that all of us know more people with mental health issues than we realize, and that those people are nervous to let others know.  I think that the more people learn about MH issues the more they can act with compassion toward those they know and love… maybe I’ll be able to share something that will help you understand the depression/loneliness/anxiety that your friend or family member is feeling.  Or perhaps by sharing it will give somebody else the resolve to seek help for their issues too.   Maybe some other veteran will find help instead of turning into a “22 a day” statistic (22 veterans a day commit suicide).  So I’ll share and hope for those results, as well as to show my kids that their father is doing his best to get better.

So if you are interested in that, then keep following along as we, the Jensen family, continue our journey through life, where ever that might take us.  Our first step will be to attempt to mend my broken vessel.

Update: Insurance Meeting

Way back in December our insurance agency, USAA, told us that they wanted an ‘examination under oath’ for both Julie and I to tell them what happened.  We had already done this 2 or 3 times, but hey, whatever.   It took quite some time for USAA to find the people to facilitate this meeting here in UT.  It has been aggravating to be in limbo for so long, but that’s life I guess.

Well that meeting finally took place yesterday (April 12).   It was basically the same set of questions as we were asked after the fire in Oct by a fire investigator, and to the set we were asked by another fire investigator here in UT in early December.

The entire thing took about 4.5 hours.  About 3.5 of those were spent with me, and about an hour with Julie.   I was the last one to leave the house back in Oct and so they had all sorts of questions for me, and then only had Julie fill in holes that I didn’t know, or to verify that what I said was true.

The whole thing would have been really easy and stress free if it weren’t for the PTDS issues I have.  For months now I’ve been having major anxiety attacks and nightmares about personal safety that all center around the fire, and so trying talk about what happened was stressful because of the raw emotions that come from those attacks.  I had to excuse myself a few times to compose myself because of the emotions that come from recalling the details.   Otherwise things went fine.   Julie, as always, was a rock upon whom I could rely to help me calm my emotions and steady my thinking.   I love that woman!

One bonus of the interview this time was that the Insurance investigator (Roger) handling the claim was present.  This gave us the opportunity to talk with him in person about what their process is going to be now, and try to get an approximate time frame for a decision.  He explained to us how now they’ll go back and compare our statements, review all the information, gather more if necessary, have meetings with their legal teams, and come to some decision.

Unfortunately we couldn’t get any approximate time frame.   He wouldn’t say anything about days/weeks/months/years.   Even something as vague as “these things can take a few months” or “this almost never takes more than a year” or “hopefully we can be done quickly.”   He wouldn’t give us anything.  It will take as long as it takes, and that’s it.   So being in limbo has become a permanent status for us.

There were a disturbing revelation made to us though.   Roger led us to believe that we should brace for bad news about the decision they might make.   He said that if he had to make the decision today, he would choose to not cover the claim.   He said that that isn’t an official decision and they will obviously still go through the process, but it didn’t sound to me like there was much of a chance of them covering anything.

So we are stunned and confused.

That news makes it nearly impossible to make any plans for the future.  Not only do we not know when they’ll make a decision, but it sounds most likely that the decision will leave us impoverished, homeless,  and yet still responsible for a house debt for a house that no longer exists.   You can guess how our emotions were yesterday/last night.   I’m filled with doubt, confusion, depression, and a touch of anger AND  the emotions rubbed raw by the interview.   You’d be correct to guess I’m not doing very well.

But that’s where things stand right now.

If you have any encouragement or advice, please feel free to share below.