One of the key Stoic philosophical foundations is preparing yourself for misfortune. There’s a sort of miss you or make you risk management element to it.
Every morning you prepare for the day by thinking about what can go wrong and how you will deal with it. Will you miss your bus? What if the sandwich bar sells out before you get there? How can you avoid Mr Big-Arse Grumpy Pants? If the worst happens you know what to do, and if it doesn’t, you get to appreciate how lucky you are.
But your everyday concerns are small potatoes compared to the endless number of things that can happen. So, as well as your daily meditations on disaster, you’ll periodically think about the massive, seemingly no getting over stuff. Like losing or never having met your spouse, or a bushfire taking everything you own or suffering a serious injury.
If you’re up to date, you’ll know that my poor pretty boy and girl are approaching the end of their lives. My friend Katy’s 12-year-old Lab recently passed away, so we’re very grateful that our 14-year-olds are doing so well. We don’t know how long we’ve got, but we’re trying to make the ends of their lives as pleasant as we can.
Hard as it is, it’s time to start preparing for the worst. And there’s a lot to think about in terms of euthanasia, disposing of the bodies, and putting away their possessions. Not to mention how it will feel to go on without them.
You can see more of my Haiku here.