One of the truths that we tend to experience firsthand time and time again throughout our lives is that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone. The first several times that I experienced this, I remember feeling guilty that I hadn’t appreciated what I had more. There is certainly something to be said for taking time to appreciate the good things that we have and to not take them for granted. It is also true, however, that it just isn’t realistic to live every day as if it were your last. If today’s my last day, I ain’t showing up to work.
The hard fact of the matter is that life has a number of “normal” and inevitable losses associated with it that, no matter how much we prepare for, you can’t really prepare for. You really can’t quite know what you have until the prospect of losing it becomes evident. Loss of a level of lifestyle, health, security, normalcy, a sense of control, freedom, or even life (our own or a loved one’s) is incomprehensible to our souls and something that is never easy.
When one of these types of “world shaking” events takes place, one thing that we inevitably realize again is how little some of the things that we seem to value so much in normal times really are; money and the pursuit of money being one of these things. At the very same time, however, that this realization is taking place, a person is confronted by the fact that the very occurrence that brings this renewed perspective demands financial decisions and thought. One of the bitter pills that we swallow in life is that even when we realize how little money matters and when we most want it to not matter, it matters.
When loss of life happens, the fact of the matter is that wills matter. Life insurance matters. Savings matters. Organization matters. It matters if you have taken out 17 cash out refinances in the last 16 years. I wish as much as anybody that it didn’t have to matter, but it does. In these types of situations, the blessing of having prepared for the things that can be prepared for is immeasurable in allowing for the healthy processing of the things that one simply can never be fully prepared for.
This too is a blessing that can easily be taken for granted. Until we have experienced a major life-shaking event without the stability of some financial order and preparation, we probably cannot quite appreciate the blessing that it is. A large part of my job is counseling people in a time of great financial instability. At times this is accompanied by other life-shaking events, such as a life threatening illness in the household or the recent passing of a spouse. The financial stress and pressure that accompanies the great level of grief and emotional instability of an already difficult situation is truly devastating.
The hard part is that when one of these events happens, it is rarely expected. Even when it should be expected, it rarely is. I mentioned before that our souls find catastrophic losses to be unthinkable and incomprehensible, sometimes blinding us to their inevitable (and sometimes well-announced) arrival. When the inevitable happens, it’s too late to prepare. Nobody will insure the life of a person with a life-threatening condition. No one will insure their health either. There’s either insurance or there isn’t. When a person passes, there is either a will or there isn’t.
I’ve said this before in this blog, but money is a ways down the list of important things in life. The thing about it though, is that the better we manage it, the more of our attention can truly be apportioned to the more important things. When there is lack of foresight or preparation in the realm of finances, the potential for a stress so great that it can easily be debilitating is always one “normal” life event away. This should be an inspiration to us to manage our money in a way that always has in mind our house being in order as much as possible at all times.
There are some things that we just gotta do when it comes to putting our house in order. A will costs a bit of money, but needs to be done. Life insurance has a price tag as well, but the price tag of not having it should also be weighed. Talking about managing money with other members in the household is important, so that they would feel confident assuming roles and responsibilities that you currently have if you are no longer around. Prioritizing an emergency savings fund, even when there is only a little money that can go there is important.
We can only prepare so much. It should also be said that preparation should NEVER become a consuming obsession. Put the steps in place to be as prepared as possible and then move on to other more important things. We never want to obsess about the what ifs in life, we just want to make sure that our everyday manner of living has taken these into account to whatever extent possible.
We’ll never regret putting our house in order, but we will regret it if we don’t. Realistically, we’ll also never have it quite as in order as we’d like J. We’ve got to let go and be okay with this as well.
Is your house in order?
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This post is linked to The Welcome Home Link Up at Raising Arrows, Better Mom Mondays at The Better Mom, Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, The Homestead Blog Carnival at the Morris Tribe, Titus 2 Tuesdays at Cornerstone Confessions, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, WLWW at Women Living Well, Your Green Resouce at Live Renewed