No-one is indispensable. No argument there as I am merely stating a fact. However, do you truly know, believe and appreciate that if you were to be wiped off the face of the earth tomorrow it will not be that noticeable to the rest of the world. You can be replaced if necessary or you will simply fade into non-existence. The earth will continue to turn just fine without you.
When I eventually returned home from hospital after 3 months, just before Christmas, I opened the door to my office. Sat upon my desk was 3 months worth of post. Luckily we were still in the infancy of the internet so emails were not a problem then. Even though my desk was literally dripping onto the floor with paperwork the rest of the office looked quiet and calm. The phones were not furiously ringing with clients demanding to know why I had not been in touch, none of the envelopes had ‘final demand’ screaming out at me and there were no emergency lights flashing (why I was expecting any I blame on the morphine). When I did start to open the letters the same mundane financial advice related correspondence was inside.
Of course, I was not to realise that my husband of the time had told everyone who needed to know, clients and insurance companies, what had happened so they were keeping a respectful distance to give me time or had made alternative arrangements.
I remember being sat on my work chair, looking at my desk with its teetering envelope towers and thinking “oh well, I am obviously not as crucial as I once believed I was. The world is still turning, all these people are content to wait or move on – why was I rushing about and stressing so much before?”.
The fact that I was very much dispensable had never struck me before. I was responsible for a large number of peoples financial portfolios. I constantly watched and took action on their behalf to make their money work for them and increase in value. Whenever they needed to access this information they relied on me to supply it and they trusted me to do my job. Because of this reliance I worked long hours, felt morally responsible to keep on top of every little detail which led to a great deal of stress and an exhausting schedule.
Yet I had disappeared for months and all the portfolios were in place, were still increasing in value and information I had not been there to supply had been found through alternative sources. And, when I really thought about it, I couldn’t think of one solitary form of job or occupation that would be missed if it were to be removed from the planet.
My realisation that I am expendable has lifted a lot of stress out of my existence. I no longer fear or concern myself with death in whatever shape it may come. In life I have a healthier belief that I don’t have to keep doing something if I really don’t want to, so I don’t. And, if what I am doing is getting too much for me I will stop, take time out, breathe, relax, and remind myself of the lessons I have learnt – irrespective of who you are, how much money you make or what you do you are mortal and therefore ultimately dispensable.