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The Difficulty of Making Plans

The new year often brings, if not soon to be broken resolutions, at the very least a sense of taking stock of one’s life and a desire to make some adjustments where needed.

Over the holidays, we went back to Saint John where I had time to think about some of the things I wanted to do differently in 2020. Lose weight, yes, but also stop hating myself if I’m not at the weight I’d like to be. But also manage the finances a little better, be a little more on the ball at my job (attention to detail is an issue). Keep the house better cleaned. Maybe even hire a cleaner? Help our son is doing better at school.

So you get back from your trip, ready to make a plan to attack all your 2020 challenges and … the president of the United States provokes a war with Iran. Or we’re told we have less than 15 years to effectively slow down climate change and we know the chances of that are slim to none. Or there is another financial crisis around the corner and suddenly you wonder why are you making plans at all. There is so much out of our control that I understand why people these are choosing not to have children.

Was it always like this or are we just hyper-aware of everything at once thanks to smartphones? I remember the anxiety around nuclear war in the 80s. Maybe every generation has these moments and this one is simply the early 21st century iteration of it.

I hope there won’t be a war with Iran and that we are up to the task of tackling climate change but I fear we don’t have the leadership required to adequately handle either of those things right now. So I’ll keep making plans because the alternative is worse.

By John

Former Maritimer living in the suburbs of Montreal.

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