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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!