Xanax and whiskey and the art of emergency preparedness.

Posted: October 9, 2008 in Family, goals, Headspace, Home

All’s quiet in our little life at the moment. The very quiet makes me somewhat worried – like a calm before the storm. The whole world is holding its breath, waiting for the Big Bad to happen, or continue happening, as their perspective may be.

I try to focus on the day-to-day – one day at a time, one step at a time, one obstacle at a time. And there is much in our daily life that is positive. For instance, since the kids have moved out, Calvin and I find a lot of free time in which to enact the No Pants Rule in the house, which is lovely. Especially when you consider that I have a whole HOST of pretty nighties and fun lacy see-through garments that can now enjoy a renaissance since there are no more delicate sensibilities to offend (read: CHILDREN with EYEBALLS).

I’m learning to cook for two, which is more challenging than you might think, considering I’ve spent YEARS cooking for four, or cooking for four-plus-several-friends, or cooking for five-plus-three-grandbabies. Even though I intend to purchase and consume LESS food, I still see the need for a stand-alone freezer in the garage. Zip-Loc makes these handy little plastic storage baggies and the OCD-er in me longs to fill them with two chicken breasts apiece, or perfectly portioned burger meat, or batches of stew and chili that I’ve crocked and then divvied out into single servings for freezing. I come from Maine. We know how to Store Food for the Winter.

I’m a little chipmunk, short and stout…

I am managing to stick with a self-imposed hiatus on the news. It’s just not worth worrying about and I can’t effect (affect?) anything anyway. All the news does anymore is throw me into anxiety attacks that can only be tamed with copious amounts of Xanax and whiskey (FUN, have you tried it?). I know who I’m going to vote for. I know the economy is in the shitter. I don’t CARE which celebrity is having a baby or got divorced or had plastic surgery. If I can just manage to get Jen to stop IM-ing me with such tidbits as, “Gee, I didn’t know the DOW had 600 points to lose!” I’d be golden. Heh.

Still, I haven’t completely stuck my head in the sand. I’m working on a soberingly grown-up project involving putting together an Emergency File in case either Calvin or I become sick or disabled or Bite the Big One. Or, less scary but still possible in this economy, lose our jobs. I’m looking at it from the standpoint of “Our Finances and Life Administrata for Dummies”. If something happened to me, as the fully and soully responsible person for the finances and bill payments etcetera ad nausium, Calvin would TOTALLY be SOL (that’s Shit Outta Luck) without this type of a document. I have every confidence that he could figure things out if he had to – but under the conditions in which he’d have to take over, I’m sure the last thing he’d want to have to figure out is when to pay the water bill.

I’ve been putting off organizing this information for FAR TOO LONG.

The REFERENCE document is sixteen pages long so far – then there’s all the stuff that goes with it (insurance documents, policy documents, account documents, licenses and certificates and registrations and titles and And AND…). I’m not even a little bit done yet and I’ve been working on it steadily for the past two weeks. PLUS, we have to make up our wills. Perish the thought (hah, no pun intended), I HATE having to deal with such morbid reality-reminding things. But it’s the responsible and grown-up thing to do. So I’m doing it. Dammit.

I’ve called all of our credit card companies and put their credit protection programs in place (for a “nominal monthly fee” my ASS). If one of us loses our job, payment is deferred for up to two years. If one of us dies, the balance is wiped clean.

I’m making us as prepared as is humanly possible, for the unknown. There’s a certain sense of peace of mind that goes with being prepared, but… I work on it daily. So, I have a daily reminder that stability is not permanent, that too much of life is out of our control, and that the unthinkable CAN happen.

Thank GOD for Xanax and whiskey.

  1. iamheatherjo says:

    My friend’s Sharon and Bill did the protection program on their mortgage. At the time Sharon didn’t want to spend the money but Bill insisted. Five years ago at the age of 37 Bill unexpectedly died. She would have never been able to handle the house payment and all her other bills without him. 😦

    I know it’s not fun, but it’s a good, good thing you’re doing. Don’t be like me! I’m the perfect example of stability not being permanent. Actually, I’m a perfect example of stability being non-existent! 😉

  2. AmyD says:

    You know, I have thought about doing the same thing off and on for years because my husband would be in the same position were something to happen to me.

    Yikes. More things for the “to do” list!

  3. Jayne says:

    Oh boy, I can relate to the freezer in the garage and the storage thingies. Are you sure we’re not related in some way?! …Although in my case I think I’ve now accepted that I’m really *not* that kind of organised.

    The Emergency File is an excellent idea. I *started* one ….got bored then stopped, but you make me think that I really *must* get back to it. (In my case it’s called the ‘Don’t Panic’ file). 😀

  4. Jeanette says:

    My husband and I drew up wills, durable power of attorney and living trusts about 5 years ago. I even cut out articles about wills and trusts and inheritance stuff when I see them and put them in a file. A few months ago I finally bought a fireproof safe to put everything in. It’s not something you want to think about but it definitely gives you peace of mind.

  5. Kim says:

    Out of all the smart ideas you wrote about in this post, I like the Xanax and Whiskey plan the best. When all else fails…
    But seriously, you’ve inspired me not only to put together a similar file (I think my husband would literally ignore things until they started getting turned off should something happen to me), but to go out and buy more ziplocks. Seriously, for winter cooking (and we’re only two too), there’s nothing better for quick and easy storage.

  6. Taoist Biker says:

    Dys would have to do that for us, and though it’s a good idea, it tends to fall off the to-do list as “OMG!” items keep getting pencilled in up top!

  7. Dawn says:

    I need to update my “here’s where all the bills are, and the websites, and the passwords” list for Troy. We also need to (FINALLY) make our wills. At least you don’t have the added burden of deciding who gets the kids – we’re thinking about asking one of Troy’s college buddies, instead of my brother, so god forbid something happens to us or there will be complete CHAOS.

    I also need to change our homeowner’s insurances to a different holder. Sigh.

    Of course, I’m putting all of this off until we eventually get our cable/internet back after Ike. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

    And oh yeah, get a fireproof safe for that stuff. Or a safety deposit box.

  8. Laura says:

    Heather – Oh, that’s so sad! Also, you’re a perfect example of ADORABLE.

    Amy – Sorry, didn’t mean to add to your pile!!!

    Jayne – If being related means I get to move in with you… then YES, we’re long lost sisters. Love the Hitchhiker’s Guide reference! I shall rename my file at once.

    Jeanette – Oh yeah, a safe! Wouldn’t do us any good if the house burned down and destroyed all of our emergency preparedness, now would it?

    Kim – Wine works well, too.

    TB – It would be one GREAT BIG OMG item if you needed the file and didn’t have it, though…

    Dawn – Why, did you and your brother have a falling out? Isn’t he married with a child of his own? Dish, woman!!! Hope all’s well at your place after Ike…

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