Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: How can I prepare for the losses I fear?
I think that those who fear losses are those who have never experienced losses. If you have made it through loss, you learn certain coping strategies (sometimes the hard way) that mark the rest of your life.
My parents were children during the Depression and were teens during WW2. This marked the rest of their lives. My dad, in particular, lived in poverty.
They were not afraid of loss. Rather, they had a healthy understanding of the privileges they had in later life, and just how easily those might vanish.
I, on the other hand, have never experienced serious deprivation– but hearing their stories made me always consider the “what ifs”. If there’s one reason for studying history, it’s this one. People have lived through tough times before–as well as unimaginable horrors. If we’re open to learning from history, we can do it, too.
Twenty years ago tonight, I attended a dinner with my dad. I was living in Columbus, working for Bank One, and Dad had gotten an invite through his financial advisor to a presentation by a speaker from Janus Funds talking about the general state of the market and where it was going. I remember very little of it, but I did get–and still have–a little plush hand puppet, symbolizing the bull and bear of the stock market:
About twelve hours later, the world changed.
Voted today. It was a bit more of an adventure than I had expected. We showed up at the advance polling place that was indicated on our voter card, only to find the voting place had been moved–to the very same hall where we’d dropped in on for an SCA meeting last night. Once we were there, we got in the building quickly–only to get stuck in the only line that wasn’t moving. It turned out that a couple of pages were missing from the voter list. Apparently, a new one was being printed to be delivered, but in the meantime they collected our voter cards and gave us ballots, indicating we could go ahead and do our vote. Everyone got their own pencil this time. I’m sure the pencil manufacturers are rejoicing.
Today, I got the lens kit for my phone camera that I ordered.
This evening, while waiting for the sun to set and the moon to emerge, I stepped outside. I saw a mourning dove on the front yard. Returning a few minutes later with my new telephoto lens, I saw it up on the eaves of a nearby house. I was certain that this was at least one of the pair who had been nesting on my porch until suddenly disappearing yesterday. I took a photo.
A few minutes later, looking out the door at the progression of the sunset, I saw a fluttering of wings. Peering gingerly out the front door, I saw that the dove had settled on top of our porch light.
It’s been there ever since.
I have no idea whether this is the female, looking to nest again, or the male, perhaps mourning its mate. But I am happy to have it there.
I did shoot some shots of the moon and the sunset as well.