Sunday, November 27, 2005

November 27, 2005 - Sunday morning coffee

Here I sit on Sunday morning, my favourite moment of the week when Mommy and Magnus are still sleeping and I'm halfway through my first cup of java listening to classical on the radio.

What to talk about?  We watched War of the Worlds yesterday.  What a show!  Other than the nonsensical conclusion (I still have no idea how the aliens died), the movie was pretty good, especially the scenes with these giant tripod machines vaporizing everything in their paths.  I couldn't help thinking during the movie how a tragedy like that immediately refocuses peoples perspective on what is important to them.  We get so stuck in our routines of going to work to earn money, then spending that money, then going back to work to earn more, then spending more that we forget to ask "what's the point?" often enough.  Isn't it sad that we are often so busy with busyness that we don't ask ourselves this question until something really bad happens?  Ana and I have been concentrating a lot on our finances lately, trying to put a good plan in place now that will help us in the future.  As we work on this plan and talk about investments, returns, earnings, expenses and all those other credits and debits we've often looked at each other and realized how lucky we've been in our lifetimes to have never had to live through real tough times.  Even our parents generation haven't had to live through what our grandparents did.  People born in the first decades of the 20th century lived through the great depression and two world wars.  The great depression where people in this country had no jobs, no crops, limited health care and even starvation.  Then the world wars came along where thousands of innocent people were killed.  Can you imagine what living through these kinds of events does to people?  When an 85 year old person today looks at how the younger people live this life of entitlement, instant gratification and total disposability of everything, how must they feel?

Eventually another depression will come around, at least this is what history suggests.  What will happen then?  Especially when people have so much of their wealth tied up in electronic assets that could practically disappear overnight and overpriced, overbuilt bungalows that cost a fortune to maintain.  What assets and skills will have value if we go through a depression?  I certainly don't know how to do anything useful like slaughter a cow or grow vegetables.  We don't even have any land on which to plant a garden to grow food that would keep us alive!  The business skills Ana and I have would be completely useless in an economic meltdown.  It makes you change the way you look at the future when you consider this possibility.

Yikes, that's a little heavy for Sunday morning.  On the bright side, after going through these planning processes together the one main thing we do agree on is that we want to be able to spend as much time as possible raising our kids and enjoying life with our families and friends.  There is nothing more important than that.