It might be fair to say that if some major tragedy hit us, a lot of our everyday activities would pale in comparison. They would lose priority, and relevance. After September 11, 2001 I was shut out of my office on Wall Street for 3 weeks. Upon return, everything on my desk just didn’t seem important any more.
And yet, we are stressed to meet all of these appointments/meetings daily. Sometimes we’re marching to someone else’s agenda, not our own. Not always our own priorities, but we give them that status. So if we’d wipe everything off our calendar in an instant if tragedy struck, what really is that important that it can’t be missed – or dismissed?
Alison Kopicki of the New York Times wrote an article titled “Even When Expecting Tornadoes People Don’t Plan Well. Even when tornadoes are predicted, and arrive in some regions every year, people still don’t plan for them. Does this sound familiar? What about college, or retirement, or paying off a mortgage? For most of us, those days also are predictable and will arrive sooner than later. So what’s up?
Why are we so bad at preparing for the future? Humans are pretty smart. So are we too optimistic – “it won’t happen to me”? Or are we just too tired, and preparing for the future is just too big to get our arms around, so we passively react to whatever comes our way now because it’s easier and less demanding. Methinks this might be a core issue.
So going back to the fact that our calendars would be cleared pretty quickly in an actual tragedy, can we clear our calendars just a bit to plan for a prospective tragedy? Or prepare for the future? Give one hour a week to you and your family for the future. Think of one way to save money. Think of one way to earn more money. You owe it to yourself – before you’re in the disaster.
Carrie Rattle is a Principal at BehavioralCents.com, a web site for women focused on the psychology of money behaviors.