Few things in life aggravate me more than getting caught off guard. I’m a bit jumpy by nature anyway. It only takes someone walking into a room quietly and simply saying hello for me to literally jump at the sound of their voice. I guess I’m wound a little tight.
In the spirit of being ready for whatever life throws at me, I try to take baby steps in that direction. The following list of five things aren’t major investments. You could accomplish one or several with little or almost no energy, if you move slowly enough. And they will make your life a veritable funfest of joy and abandon. Okay, maybe not that last one. But at least you’ll be better prepared for those wild kicks life launches at you.
You know, the unexpected, the not so happy moments in life, the inconvenient accidents, the uh-ohs, the dagnabits, the what-was-I-thinkings.
- Hospitals. Have small purse or satchel packed up ahead of time, this weekend, or next weekend if you want to tempt fate. Why? For when, not if, you have to visit an ER as a patient, driver, friend or loved one. Include a small thin blanket, (like the ones the airlines charge you an arm or leg to use.) Include some cash for the cafeteria, coins for sodas or snack machines late at night, a notebook and pen, (for questions, answers, games of hangman, profound thoughts) gum and mints, some granola bars, fruit snacks or chocolate, a toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, lotion, and a paperback book. On your way out the door, grab your phone and charger (or keep a spare in the bag if you can pull that off) and a sweater or jacket. Hospitals are some of the coldest places I’ve spent time in and the stress makes you feel even colder. There’s no telling how long you’ll be there. This is stuff you can really use, or you can share with some of your friends or family. You’ll be really glad you did this. Really. Truly. Deeply.
- Lock outs. Being locked out of your car or house throws your day off kilter like nothing else can. A spare key hidden somewhere handy could put you right back on balance. Don’t “hide” it in any of the predictable places. Maybe a spare house key hidden outside your neighbor’s house (if you know them and trust them). Not in a plant by the front door and not under the mat. You’ll figure it out, you’re the smart one. Also, get creative about where you put a spare car key. There are lots of nooks and crannies and ways to camouflage a key’s hiding spot on, around and under a car. This is way faster than waiting for AAA or a family member to get you out of your predicament. You can thank me when you slide that spare key into the lock.
- Whatever. A stash of cash for who knows what could come up. The more you can tuck away the bigger the uh-oh you can deal with. I wouldn’t keep it all in one spot either. A bit here, a bit there, and some over there. A seldom read volume of Shakespeare serves as a great bank if the bills are, say, tucked in singly every thirty pages. (No, you can’t rifle through my volume.) And that’s just one idea you could try. Get creative. And then, this is really important, you need to write down where all those hiding places were so you can remember. And put that note somewhere you’ll see or remember without a reminder. (I know, I know, so much to remember to remember to remember.) <== (Not a typo.) How much you need to stash is your call. I personally feel better if I’ve got a few twenties and tens where I know I can get my hands on them in a hurry without going to an ATM. I’d feel even better, and richer, if the twenties were hundreds, but let’s be realistic here, shall we?
- Lights out! Batteries, flashlight, matches, candles. Honestly there’s no reason to go without candles nowadays. It’s like a decorating staple item. The question is, do you have matches or a lighter to actually use them should the need arise. Hmmm. And batteries to match flashlights seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve been known to have one but not the other. In fact, I keep a small flashlight on my nightstand. And another one in my car. I keep thinking a key ring flashlight would be handy, too. Who knows when you’ll need to see into the dark, deep recesses of your purse? When that glitch hits your local power lines, who ya gonna thank? Yup, yourself for being so well prepared and not having to sit in the dark.
- TP. One can never have too much toilet paper, (or bathroom tissue) around the house. I’d rather have too much around than not enough, wouldn’t you? Buy an extra package or two when you can, you’ll be glad you did. Sorry to say these aren’t generally regarded as a decorative item, so you’ll have to stash them discreetly. Although I have seen some ingenuous TP holders that, at the least, were entertaining to look at, if not downright artistic. Google it, if you don’t believe me.
There you have it. My five bits of wisdom for you. Sadly, most of it I’ve learned the hard way. I’ll leave those stories to your imagination for now. Or not.
On that note I’ll leave you with this lovely thought by a smarter woman than I am.
“Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.” -Maya Angelou