I like to think I have a relatively good handle on life responsibilities. Sure it’s a juggling act: appointments, work meetings, supper prep, laundry, and getting Aunt Mabel’s birthday card in the mail on time (I don’t actually have an Aunt Mabel, and I don’t even send birthday cards to any of my aunts – or uncles for that matter – but somehow Aunt Mabel sounded like a good representative name).
But ask anyone close to me and they can tell you I’m a worrier by nature. Not just a worrier, but I like to think through 100 (equally unlikely) worst-case scenarios. One day, when John and I were newly engaged, I worked myself up into a frenzy over sushi and someone not having soya sauce at their house. It’s a long story, but suffice to say we still joke about this mental spiral over soya sauce regularly.
So while I’m trying to dial down some of my irrational neuroses (recently, it involved new hardware for our front door, where I spiraled to epic heights over something that had about 0.01% chance of happening)…I have been thinking about the wisdom of thinking through reasonable contingencies. Not out of worry or anxiety, but pragmatic planning for things that have more than a 0.001% chance of happening.
- What would I do if the kids were suddenly home for 2 weeks due to a teacher strike (or COVID outbreak, which, it turns out IS currently happening in our area)?
- What would I do if our dishwasher broke?
- What would we do if our power went on during a cold snap?
- What would we do if our basement flooded?
I’m not going to have my kids do dry-runs of at-home learning over the weekends or source a new dishwasher, but maybe when I see a set of Bluetooth headphones that would make it easier for Levi to concentrate on schoolwork if he had to do at-home learning again (perish the thought), I might buy them. Maybe I’d take the time to write down the name of the small appliance repairman my friend mentions in passing. I can check the propane levels for our backup heating source and make sure I have lots of candles and flashlights stockpiled.
Maybe I can pick the stack of books up off the basement floor and store them in a plastic tote. I know that’s where I’m going to be storing wrapped Christmas gifts moving forward.
It can be a delicate balance – not overthinking what might happen, while understanding the importance of being prepared. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m heading off to put in an order for a propane delivery…just to be on the safe side.
What about you? Any contingencies you’ve planned for that you’ve ended up having to fall back on?