December 28, 2016

Plan B!

Plan B!! What plan is she talking about? I know what you all naughty people might be thinking of. I am not talking of the Plan B for...err..Okay! Let's talk business. On a cloudy morning we warn our kids to wear their rain jackets, we remind our spouses not to forget their umbrellas. We have an alternate plan for surprise showers. We keep candles at home in case of a power shortage; we have hand fans, we buy additional groceries to avoid running to stores at odd hours; we keep a rescue kit for floods and earthquakes, you name it and we have an alternate solution for every single trouble that comes our way. Do we also plan similarly for larger things in life? If a family member falls terminally ill; are we financially equipped to meet the medical expenses? If that family member is the sole bread winner; who is going to take reins of the family? What if both parents travel together and never come back? What happens to the kids? What if the husband dies of a heart attack or meets a road accident? What's the plight of the wife and children? Life isn't going to be the same, is it? These thoughts run through my mind all the time.
Death and unforeseen circumstances could occur in anyone's life. We hear this random news of deaths and illness from a distant relative, a friend, a co-worker or a neighbor. But the intensity hits only when it happens to us.
When I was a kid I would think people die only when they get old. That myth has changed over the years. Of late, with the incidents that have happened around me, my perception of life has evolved a lot larger than it was. Death could happen to anyone in any age. A few incidents in the past few years related to people I once knew or cousins of friends have left me devastated. 
I know nothing can prepare us for the worst. But like they say foresee the unforeseen; by taking some small and some big & bold decisions, I believe we all can be prepared for what may come. If not completely, at least partially. Don't ask me if I have taken all the below measures before coming up with this post. The answer is No and I am on my way. Few of them are:
  1. Insurance. Get Insured. Enroll in a Life Insurance Policy that will take care of the family in case of a sudden demise. Make the spouse and kids as nominees for the ease of everything.
  2. Write your Will. It may sound overly precautious and a bit dramatic but yes, your Will is important. It is important to let your kids know what and with who their future lies. If you have already done so, revise it every 5 years. Will is not just a testament of your properties and declaration of who is going to possess what physical belongings but to let them know who has the custody of the family. In some cases, if the Will is not written, the insurance amount does not reach the beneficiary but would go to some charity/organization. 
  3. Finances. Make your spouse a partner in everything. There are many families where the man runs the show and the woman of the house has no clue on the inflow/outflow of finances. Both the partners need to be involved in paying the bills and running the household. Don't limit their capabilities only for savings in coupons and grocery shopping.
  4. Be Independent. Women need to come out of their protective shells and be independent. I have heard this answer zillion times when I ask some basic questions. "Oh..I don't know all that Latha. He takes care of all that stuff." I have friends who do not know the salary they earn or what their bank accounts hold. Every woman needs to know a means to earn.
  5. Learn to cook and clean. These days most of the men know basic cooking and cleaning. Yet there are scores of men who do not know a thing in the kitchen. My dear ladies, teach your man how to cook and make the kids get ready to school. Your parents will be too old to support you or your neighbors cannot keep sending dishes forever.
  6. Slow down. Life is a race. We all are running to meet ends. And the little time we have on hand is spent on trivial matters that don't really need our time.
  7. Good Relations.  There is a saying in Telugu, "Noru manchidaite, vooru manchidi avutundi". Which is "If your tongue is sweet, your village is sweet with you". I know the true translation sounds funny but it really means to maintain the good relations with our near and dear without slipping our tongue. A quote that resonates:  "You can change your world by changing your words... Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue." Joel Osteen. 
  8. Save. Save for a rainy day. I don't think we need to be stingy to save nor splurge on extravaganzas. Try to strike a balance between saving and spending.
  9. Be Practical. Teach your kids the harsh realities of life. Since we faced hardships growing up doesn't mean we have to protect them from those. Let them know that life could turn upside down any moment.
The list could go on and on..We can never be 100% equipped all the time waiting to face an emergency situation. However, it will be a tad bit easier to pull ourselves together when everything falls apart. With this, I want to bid good bye to an eventful year. Hoping the next year brings more peace and love for all of us; I wish you all a Happy New Year! 
We don't develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.  -Barbara De Angelis

P.S: If you haven't thought about it so far, start thinking about your plan B!

18 comments:

  1. Well, what can I say? This is a really important post. You are exactly right when you say that we have to ready for the unforeseen. And you have some nice and very practical tips for the eventuality. As much as I hope and wish we don't have to go to a Plan B in our lives, it is imperative to have one.

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    1. Very much, Raj. These days nothing is predictable. Hence, the mental struggle and the post. Now you know what keeps me busy. Thinking...just thinking ..hahaa So now starting thinking about at least a few of the tips and let me know which you started implementing. :)

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  2. True. One needs to be prepared for any sort of event. Every time i read about countries having crises with fleeing citizens i end up thinking about my own loved ones in such scenarios
    .....and i would have no solution in mind like what u have listed....the way out i do is tell myself that its good to have plan B but trust that the bigger plan will eventually work out.... Very very thoughtful post Prudhvi

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    1. Exactly, Jaishree. Many times when I see the refugees that is what crosses my mind. What if we were in that situation? I know there is no easy way out..I am glad the post made you think. That was my whole point to provoke a thought in many of us who don't pay much attention to matters like this :)

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  3. True, Latha. These are the matters we normally don't want to think about but it is best to be prepared. Hope you have a great year ahead.

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    1. Thank you dear. Wishing you also a Very Happy new year ahead :)

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  4. hehe! I always thought of Plan B as having the meaning that you wanted to illustrate; not as the alternative to birth control!

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    1. LOL...you are smart ya :P Happy new year, Rosh!

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  5. Plan B is a must these days. You never know when an adversity would befall. Loved your practical suggestions. I hope you have a wonderful year ahead too :)

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    1. Thank you, Maliny. I myself have to implement a couple of them. Wishing you a Very Happy New Year too.

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  6. Very thoughtful post Latha.The questions raised by you arevery important but we slide through life without paying heed to them.

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    1. Thank you, aunty. I hope at least few of those who read the post will more heed to them now :)

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  7. Very valid points. We made a Will quite some time back, can't overemphasize how important it is. Unfortunately many people think of it as fatalistic.

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    1. Welcome here, Moonstone. That's wonderful to know someone reading this post has already done it. We had been planning to do it for 6 years now and not done. This year, we will write it at any cost. Very true. Many people laugh when they hear the word, WILL. I just peaked at your blog. Looked interesting travel tales. Will read in leisure :)

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  8. Keep thinking of it all the time especially when our daughter is in another country.

    And when there's a will, there's a way.

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    1. True. When we both step out for movies or anywhere together leaving the kids behind, it occurs to me...what if we don't go back? What's going to happen to them? Yep and I hope the will to write the Will is accomplished this year.

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  9. Tough topic to think about but we all must.

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    1. True Rachna. We don't want to think about unexpected bad/sad things but when they happen...we just have no clue on how to carry on...I hope we finish that task this year.

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