June 1st is the first day of hurricane season. If you live in a hurricane
zone as I do, “prepare now” is the message screaming at you
from every communication outlet (even your water bill). Why is this? Because
preparation is the key to having choices and some control in the face
of potential changes, even unwanted changes such as hurricanes.
It is just like taking a road trip to an unfamiliar destination. Plan ahead
and get directions and your trip will be less stressful than just driving
and crossing your fingers that your instincts and a few well placed road
signs will lead you to your destination. But, even if you are normally
a planner, if you didn’t acknowledge that you were headed to a new
destination until you were already in the car, you have limited your current options.
So, before you can enjoy the benefits of preparation, possible change has
to be recognized and acknowledged well before the change is upon you.
This is sometimes a difficult step to take especially when it involves
a change you would rather not acknowledge or experience such as a hurricane.
Some part of your mind wants to think that if you don’t take action
(buy the plywood for the windows ahead of time), then it won’t happen.
It feels safer and less upsetting to ignore the possibility than to acknowledge
that the hurricane really may come your way this year. It feels safer
until the hurricane really is coming and then you experience the stress
of the last minute scramble to get some of the dwindling supply of plywood
before the storm hits.
This same tendency to ignore the possibility seems to prevail when it comes
to acknowledging that at some point, your health may deteriorate and you
may not be as independent as you are today. Don’t think about it
and it won’t happen to you – until it does. Embrace the lessons
of hurricane season and prepare now for the possibility of deteriorating
health even though just as with the hurricane, you hope and pray that
your preparations will end up being for naught.