Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day #27 - Stuff Happens

I have spent this entire week in California and for some reason I have had earthquakes on my mind.  The thought of experiencing an earthquake is quite intimidating. I remember when we had a mild earthquake in New Jersey – about two years ago. Someone tweeted that they had moved to the east coast from the west coast precisely to get away from earthquakes. Then there was an earthquake on the east coast!

That is how life unfolds. Stuff just happens. And the point of remembering that fact is to factor the unexpected into our plans. This has been a sobering lesson for me to learn. If I allow myself just enough time to get to my meeting, I have left no room for traffic on the road. If I am not careful when going to the airport to catch a flight, I will not leave enough time for long security lines into the terminal. If I do not properly insure myself, I will not be prepared for accidents or other occurrences. If I spend every dime that I earn, I will have saved nothing for a rainy day or a jobless season.

It is not likely that many of us were completely prepared for an earthquake on the east coast. After all, the last earthquake in our parts of any magnitude was 1897. So we can excuse ourselves for not having had earthquake insurance (not that we could have even bought it). But the same cannot be said about apartment insurance, long-term disability insurance and certainly not life insurance. Earthquakes may come every one hundred years but death happens every day. How can we plan and make no plans for the one thing that is certain to happen in our lives?

What if our plans are undermined by events beyond our control? Are we prepared for the unintended? I have learned to expect the unexpected by hoping and praying for the best but planning and preparing for the worst. We cannot control what happens but we can control how we respond if we are prepared.

In my book "dfree® Lifestyle: 12 Steps to Financial Freedom" I have included a fairly comprehensive discussion about preparing for things that can happen and “Minimizing the Stress” in our lives.  Being prepared for the stuff that may happens makes it easier to pursue those things that we want to happen.