Ducks in a Row

A friend sent me an email recently that said, “I love the sense of possibility and freshness that come with each new year”.  I feel the same way.  My habit of creating a long list of resolutions each year is proof.  These overreaching, unrealistic gems are designed to encourage my instant transformation into a kinder, thinner, more disciplined, and better organized version of myself. Take, for example, this perennial favorite:  “Put an earthquake kit together”.  I lived in Los Angeles for 26 years before I finally did that.  Why did it take me so long?  Because planning for a vacation or a party is fun, whereas figuring out how to prepare to survive a terrifying natural disaster isn’t.   Oh well – we adults have to do a whole bunch of things that aren’t that much fun.

Another category of scrupulously avoided yet essential planning has to do with preparing wills, powers of attorney, advanced health care directives, and other important documents.  If you think natural disasters are a drag, entertaining the thought of an incapacitating disease or your own demise will not hold much appeal for you, to be sure.  Resist the tendency to avoid this project in favor of a having a doughnut and taking a nap!  The truth is that you don’t do this kind of planning for you; you do it for the people that you love. Getting your affairs in order is a gift to your family and friends.  Making things as easy as possible for your loved ones will assure that you remain in charge of the care you get, and that once you pass away, they will celebrate the memory of you, not curse your name.  If you would rather not do this yourself, do it with a friend, your book group, or hire a professional to help you get it right.  It can be a very provocative and empowering process.  Set aside some time to get these ducks in a row – and you will instantaneously become a “kinder”, “more disciplined” and “better organized” version of yourself. You’re on your own with getting thin….

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