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A Series of Small Losses

A Series of Small Losses

Since I started writing down stories and some (forehead-smack) lessons from my family’s tragic accident a few years ago, I thought I had a pretty good idea about what ‘loss’ is supposed to be given my crash-course in the ‘Life goes Sideways’ category. Until, strangely, last week.

As a word, I’ve gotten quite comfortable using ‘loss’ and have become fairly well practiced at dropping ‘late-husband’ into a casual group setting without it having to derail everyone’s conversation (this took some practice). I’ve gotten much better at discussing loss as a ‘concept’ and even softened to it’s wide-swinging definition: the (of course) harrowing loss of a friend, baby, or parent – a quite tragic financial version of losing your retirement savings or selling-the-house-at-a, or the theft of a family heirloom or disappearance of a well-traveled pocketknife still so felt deeply – perhaps even the shame-inducing loss of your drivers license, your temper, or the losing of your mind.

So, at the Otolaryngologist office last week (I had to look up the word) I told the hearing specialist it seemed like ‘I couldn’t hear things sometimes’ more and more frequently. As in; my boyfriend and 10-year-old son staring blankly at me after the 3rd time I say “What?”, or I find myself popping my head up quickly with an already-pasted smile to soften the oddly confused person who has to repeat themselves (again) while I hope their not secretly thinking I’m just a bitch and ignoring them.

The smiley-head-snap comes easily, familiar, as it dawns on me my Dad wasn’t just lost-in-though or simply becoming ‘more introverted’ at social settings as I grew up. Maybe as a gentleman and proper mid-westerner he doesn’t want to ask, “Could I sit in the middle of the table so I can hear you better?” but a few words slipping by here and there slowly becomes bigger slices, then whole pieces. I wonder how much he was missing…Mom calls out his name to guide him back to the conversation after, what, minutes?

Nearing a year after my late-husband’s death, I was spiraling about in one of my weekly counseling sessions trying to ‘get a grip’ on ‘the loss’ and ‘moving on’. Describing a dinner I’d just had with two recently separated friends who were online-dating up a storm, I was trying to start – but it still felt ‘wrong’. I understood the reality that he was dead and I was ‘single’, but I kept saying, “But Delia, I still kinda feel married”. I love it when she puts down her mug of tea, it means she’s about to drop something serious…”that’s the thing additionally hard to reconcile about your kind of immediate and traumatic loss, while we can never compare, divorce or the death of a spouse from a long illness are devastating losses, but they can also be a series of small losses over time, yours happened all at once.” I repeated this no less than four dozen times.

Sitting in the padded and slightly claustrophobic sound booth with wires going into bulgy earplugs – after listening to a series of hums, pings, beats whirls, chirps and random words to repeat (was that ‘ton’ or ‘tongue’?) the doctor returns with the slight pause and extra intake of breath needed only by those who carry bad news. “Just tell me”, I say while trying to channel Cher’s lets-not-pussyfoot-around approach. “Yes”, I hear quite clearly, ”significant hearing loss…surprising for someone so young…well in the range for hearing assistance”.

“A series of small losses”, clear-as-day words from years ago are kicking around my head as the doc continues.

Has my hearing faded so slowly I didn’t really even notice? The signs small enough I didn’t really see them as they went by? Was the accident such a traumatic, full-body-slam loss I forgot how to listen to the softer slips and more subtle dips. The everyday stuff?

Since I became a widowed-single-mom I’ve been pushing myself – and as it turns out millions of others through the Get Your Shit Together project – to keep cracking that shell open. To have a bigger, better, fuller more amazing – everything – means feeling all of the feelings and being awake to the losses along with the wins – sit with the uncomfortable things, talk about it, soften to your scared and vulnerable places, remove whatever ‘optional suffering’ we have created in our lives.

While it makes me sad (read: pretty fucking bummed) to learn my suspicions are correct – the truth is I have moderate-to-significant hearing loss, in both ears. It is also true that just because I wish it weren’t the case, it does not make it not so. And, I can do something about it. Sure, I can get by just fine right now, as-is, but I made a deal with myself to frequently ask and honestly answer: In a world where so much is out of my control, take care of the stuff you can change.

Well…I want to be comfortable in loud restaurants – answer back when someone I love calls out from the next room over – be connected to the full world around me – stay present and pay attention – be able to really listen. Are there birds out there I haven’t heard? Can folks, uh, ‘literally’ hear a soft breeze?

These are the individual slices of life are the little losses I am most afraid will start quickly adding up. The doctor stares at me from her chair, the soft, well practiced, “no pressure so take as much time to think about what…” speech is just beginning when I interrupt, “How soon until I can get fitted for hearing aides? At the very least, I want to know what I am missing.”

GYST High Functioning Happy Hour!

Join Tom Douglas and Chanel for a High Functioning Happy Hour ~ together, sip and nibble and learn how to Get Your Shit Together.

When a close friend of Tom’s died suddenly, leaving behind two children, an ex-wife, a girlfriend, and a restaurant, the financial burden buried the family. Tom decided he wouldn’t let this happen to his family. He heard Chanel Reynolds on the radio and has invited her to the Palace Ballroom for a productive and happy Happy Hour to Get Our Shit Together!

This is a free event ~ however, an RSVP is required.
More details and RSVP here

Covering the important things in your life like wills, living wills, money and writing a few details down doesn’t have to be scary, boring or confusing. In fact, it’s easier than you think and much more fun to do with friends, have a toast to getting it all done!

In this happy hour, Chanel will cover the critical list of to-dos you’ve procrastinated, forgotten about or just don’t want to deal with. Why these basics are important and how taking care of a few things now protect you and your family from a mountain of unnecessary hardship.

Also, how to make the most of your holiday season with friends and family, plus a few action items, and easy steps to get it done.

Big decisions like preparing a will or making estate plans can feel scary or overwhelming, but should the unexpected happen it is easier to weather if you’re prepared, if you already have the details, documents and answers ready. Talking about it prioritize the important, have that conversation while gathered around the table, focus on the gratitude.

Letters from the Precipice: caring for children

In between finding my son’s track shoes and getting his lunch packed up last night, this letter came in. It reminded me just how crazy-making it is try to to make sense of things that sometimes don’t make any sense. Secondly, young and single people need to take care of this stuff, too.

Mostly, so many of us have such similar stories – I hope folks from a safe distance away, or those toeing the edge, can feel a bit less scared when it’s our turn to look over the cliff.

+++

Chanel, I sent out a reminder to everyone when I read your article a few months ago, not sure if my adult daughter ever took heed though we had discussed these situations and need for planning. She is currently in an induced coma after suffering a devastating brain aneurysm bleed 8 days ago. Have been looking in her home but have not found any evidence of Will, Living will or POA papers though she has been my POA and has the paperwork (somewhere ) to support it.

How do I pay her bills? I have with the help of her job, called about starting her disability payments, so will have an income for a while. FMLA papers are at DRs to be signed. She is single, has a home with mortgage and utilities due. And if she dies, which is always a possibility, how do I handle that if no will is found? I know that I am beneficiary or her life insurance at work.

She has a roommate, super good friend, like a sister to her, that shares her home and pays some bills, but cannot manage to pay everything, also car payments.

I need some guidance quickly to see what I can do to make this horrible situation easier on all of us.

Thanks for any help or clues in who I should talk to about this.
J.R.

Joanne, I don’t even know what to say.

I am so so incredibly sorry. Try to take care of yourself in whatever way you can….breathe in and out, let yourself cave when you need to.

It sounds like her work has been helpful, so lean on them for as much as you can…And her friend/roommate can circle the wagons with her friends and community to help with stuff – ask for help! lots of help!

Get a notebook and just start jotting stuff down to help you keep track of questions, phone calls, what xx said about yy. My brain went crazy for a while and I could barely remember anything – opening a letter or paying a bill felt impossible.

Disability will help a LOT in the short term (so relieved that you have that in place) as it will buy you time and options, and your daughter better care. Life insurance can help cushion hard transitions should it ever come to that…but for now, this helps.

- Disability will help keep the mortgage paid and important stuff
- You can call the other accounts like phone or credit and explain the ‘hardship circumstances’ and they can often put you/her on a deferred payment for a while
- Also, before you pay off any of her debt, find out if you really are required to pay them, sometimes you don’t and they send bills anyway.

(I am not a lawyer) But learned that when someone dies without a will it is called ‘dying intestate’ and each state has it’s own rules and process – often the spouse will be named the executor of the will, if no spouse then usually the closest relative(s), like Parent(s). Even if probate is relatively straightforward, it is such an emotional and impossible feeling time, getting help navigating all that would be great, a friend who is savvy with that stuff can help and legal advice might be helpful or necessary.

I wish I could be of more help.
Lighting a candle for you and your daughter.

much love
you can do this
it wont always be like this

Chanel

Just ‘Deal With It’ & get your shit together

A quick update on this upcoming talk at the end of the month, I am trilled to talk about GYST at DEAL WITH IT: A Women’s Conference, presented by the Motion Picture & Television Fund, more info here.

MPTF invites you to attend the first Women’s Conference tackling all the issues which keep us up at night.

Plus, each attendee will be able to choose break-out sessions from the list below and customize their day to suit their individual needs.

Keynote Speakers:

CHERYL STRAYED, shares her story as chronicled in the New York Times bestselling book, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.

CHANEL REYNOLDS, the founder of Get Your Shit Together ….

DR. DEAN ORNISH, author of six national bestselling books and director of clinical research demonstrating, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse severe coronary heart disease and cancer.

Sessions Include:

WHERE’S THAT WILL? Making Sure All Your Estate Plans are Up-to-Date and Valid

AGING PARENTS: Your Choices and Options

UNEXPECTED LOSS: Crucial Things You Need to Do Ahead of Time

THE MYTH OF JOB SECURITY: Second Careers: Starting Over Without Missing a Beat

HEALTH AND WELLNESS: The Most Up-to-Date Information Every Woman Should Know

SPREAD THE WEALTH: 50 of the Coolest Charities Around — Knowing How and Where to Give Your Time and Money

WHERE’S MY MONEY? (AND I THOUGHT I HAD MORE): How to Ensure Your Financial Assets Are in Perfect Order

PREPARING FOR THOSE CURVEBALLS: Making Sure You Have the Right Coverage

Letters from the Precipice

Letters from the Precipice…

“50/50”, the ER doc said a second time. “Maybe 50/50 he’ll even make it off the table”, and the ground simply fell out from underneath me. Four years ago I was catapulted to the edge and forced to take big gulps of the deep end and had no idea what was going happen.

Since that moment I’ve clocked a lot of hours leaning over the rail of that precipice. Even when surrounded by friends I felt isolated, or alone, that no one could ‘really’ understand. But from the hundreds and hundreds of letters I’ve gotten from all over the world – many still unanswered, sorry! – we all likely see different views, but are most certainly not alone at the rail.

So each week I’d like to share your inspiring-wild-humbling-honest letters, lessons and stories. Perhaps folks from a safe distance away can feel a bit less scared if it is your turn at the rail – and those leaning far over, maybe you’ll feel a few extra fingers slid into your belt-loops, gently pulling you back…from the precipice.

+ + + +

Chanel,

This is going to be short as I am now sitting in a hospital room with my husband who suffered a stroke after hitting his head. This lead to Brain Surgery on Saturday. I am in the same boat. My husband was financially responsible for mortgages, rent, car payments, etc… I was laid off 3 months ago. I have no passwords, documents, etc… We don’t know what the future brings us. We don’t even know if he will wake up. I happened to be in the room with my mother-in-law when she was reading your article in Redbook. She asked me to look at it. I went to your site, but am too exhausted to look. I just wanted to shoot an e-mail.
Thank you,
Michelle

- – - –

Sweetie-

Wow, just fucking wow.

I am so so so incredibly sorry – I completely and truly remember the feeling even tho it has has been almost 4 years since I found myself in the free-fall of the rabbit-hole you have been flung into, against your will, not sure where you will land.

It is unimaginable – and now you get to just be there, breathe in and out, listen to what the docs are really saying.

I might be very much talking out of school here – but here is what I would say to me if I could go back in time and give myself a hug:

Just BE THERE – be aware of being out of, or staying in, your body. no criticism, just be curious.

Whatever works for you – As Frank Sinatra said, “Whatever gets you through the night.” For now, do that.

The noise of all that other password shit is LOUD, I got you, but it is noise, it is not more important right now.

Right now everyone in the universe is feeling for you, and cutting you some very deep and wide slack, take it, take all of it and then ask for more – even if that feels very unlike you.

Now, call to your highest, calmest, most peaceful self, the one you know you really are, and she will answer – you can do this, whatever it is, it can be done – ask the doctors what they mean, to explain it again if you don’t understand, take up a ton of space and let people hold you up.

It will not always be like this – you are more than the sum of your circumstances – and you really can do it.

xoxox
Chanel

Retirement is the new Ultimate Vacation: The AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. 40 Day Pledge

I am thrilled to announce the AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. 40 Day Pledge is teaming up with GYST to make it ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ easy for you to get your retirement and long-term care shit together. In fact, taking care of this sooner can make you happier.

In fact, 4 years ago, the AARP helped me. When I was searching online for a list of ‘what to do’ or some sort of guide after my husband was killed, I really couldn’t find much. There were bits and pieces of information in random spots, but it was all over the place and not really specific to me. I was handed an AARP brochure by my Uncle Curt, and while the focus was losing a spouse when already retired, it was one of the few helpful pieces of information I found. In fact, I never would have known to contact social security.

Turns out, I needed to be thinking beyond our 401ks and holistically planning retirement before I was already retired.

So, here’s our to-do item: Decide what you want – Create a plan – Share it with others.

Here comes the ‘forehead slap’ part:
1) I am not telling you anything you don’t already know.
2) You’re likely one of the 80% of Americans between 30-54 who believe they will not have enough money put away for retirement.
3) Or, maybe, one of the 36% of American’s who don’t have anything saved.

I get how ‘Planning for Retirement’ sounds like what our parents did, kind of boring and easy to put off till next week…I know I can make excuses that I need to organize my sock drawer first or schedule that dentist appointment instead. The future seems so far away. Finances are confusing and stressful for many of us. Many people have written me to say they are afraid to fill in the numbers in the planning calculator because they’ll find out just how screwed they are. I hear you.

Honestly, I still have some work to finish here. The energy it takes me to keep procrastinating is weighing on me.

So, lets take a deep breath and make this easier on ourselves.

Almost all of us love planning vacations! So for these next 40 Days, we are going to Pledge to Decide, Create and Share the most awesome, longest vacation plan EVER.

Your Retirement: The Dream Vacation of a Lifetime!

It already sounds like much more fun, and in fact, it could make us all happier. According to a Dutch study, people who went on vacation were actually happier before the trip than after because the excitement of anticipation (Nawjin, Marchand, Veenhoven & Vingerhoets, 2010).

So, anticipate this: living a long, lovely, and well cared for 18 years (the average length of retirement) as an ultimate Life Success Story. I want one. And so do you. So we are All-Together-Now doing this 40-Day Pledge, let’s get the odds in our favor.

Leaving Traces

I devoted five short sentences to “Leaving Traces” when I launched the site. Although it’s only a small blurb on the vaguely titled ‘Thoughts’ page, I get asked about this All. The. Time.

One of the things that struck me when I was freshly thrown in these deep waters exactly four years ago was that after the obvious legal, financial, emotional shit-storm subsided, I became the archivist of someone’s life. What I kept, shared or left private made a difference. And there were so many things.

What do I do with the 10,000 digital images and the storage bin full of photos? The social media history alongside the letters in a shoebox from his high school girlfriend? Our digital accounts and thousands of ‘things’ from the car keys and wallet he touched every day, to his drawer full of socks? What are you supposed to do with the socks, you know?

I mentioned a video of my late husband’s work presentation, “I get to see him make gestures that are so familiar and that are gone now. His kids will be able to hear his voice whenever they wish to.” People didn’t really have this wealth of traces not very long ago – maybe some jewelry, a silver set, and a box of letters and pictures to treasure. Some stories re-told at family reunions or a holiday dinner, that was legacy.

Now, we have thousands of photographs, videos, our online accounts, even comments on blogs to capture, review, catalog and archive. Dozens of hours, even hundreds, are required sometimes to just to simply find and go through everything. It is, of course, precious treasure to last for generations to come, clearly. And, I’ll admit, this highest honor sometimes felt like an overwhelming pain in the ass; I meticulously archived photos online with customized access – I also threw the socks in the trash.

The analog + digital legacy is curious topic for your own late-night pondering, but also appears to be driving a whole new industry. ‘Traces’ are now a more complicated mixed-bag of the old-school familiar items, plus the endless documenting of our lives in the digital world, along with the growing (unintentional) slightly shadowy smear of our ‘history’ all over the interwebs.

This week alone I connected with the incredible peeps at The Order of the Good Death, talked to LifeStory, was sent a link to the best TED talks on death and was forwarded this incredibly raw and honest documentary project “Everything Will Be Okay” telling the story one man’s journey facing death, which brought me to my knees.

Then there was this one sent my way…a BBC article ‘Life goes on after Death” about Memory Box, an intentionally curated presentation of your own life. Even though the article from is from 2010, it captures the current conversation and perspective: How much shared information is too much? What don’t you want people to see?

So it makes me wonder…is this a crazy amazing breakthrough that we can create an interactive museum-quality experience of our lives? Or, is this just a newer, more 360 version of the Glamour Shots from high school, with better lighting and an updated UI?

Are we documenting the past, trying to bring it ‘back to life’, hoping to interact with the future? I remember the duet Natalie Cole sang with her deceased father, Nat King Cole that won a Grammy in 1992. Clearly it wasn’t my Dad, but it always felt a little trippy. More recently, the widely covered Tupac hologram performance with Snoop Dogg from 2012’s Coachella. Some said it was like he was ‘brought back to life’ (for you youngsters, Tupac was shot and killed back in 1996) but my first thought is…I wonder what his family thought?

Certainly none of this is ‘new’ news. Technology has been messing with the past and our definition of progress and (im)permanence since, well, when exactly? The first photograph? The invention of the printing press? Cave paintings? As humans, we tend to think of the bigger picture when life/death impacts us: narrowly missing that car crash, waiting for test results, facing our parents mortality, coming to terms with our own, when someone you love dies.

This week is marked even more for me by a friend’s memorial and my own milestone happening the same day. But makes me wonder even more how is this going to play out, what will it look like after I am gone? Will I be regenerated in some holographic room where my kids can program me to do funny dances, admit I should have let them eat PopTarts for breakfast or tell me I was a terrible mom? A holodeck where we (all the dead ancestors) do the hokey-pokey with the living? Will it already be cliché and old-hat to create these fabricated digital ‘rifts’ in our personal time-space continuum?

While I care about what I leave for my family and how I’ll be remembered, I’ll be dead and my memory will really be only for the ones still living. It will be up to them. But whatever Death 2.0 turns out to be, it still comes down to this: Try to leave some things along the way so people can feel close to you. Whatever that is, it makes a big difference.

Wills 101: Your questions, GYST replies…How do I write a will?

How do I write a will? is one of the top 10 questions I hear from you in the hundreds and hundreds of emails (many still unanswered, sorry!) sitting in my inbox. So, here is a quick compilation of your most frequently asked ‘Wills’ questions, and a summarized mash-up of my responses. These are the very basics to get you started…now, GO!

Your questions:
I’m filling out your template, and I have a question: can I write one will for my husband and myself together?

…we have a unique situation because we are not married (and do not intend to get married).”

Your sample will document refers multiple times to Washington State law, but what if you don’t live in Washington?

I’m wondering about laws governing wills, etc in various states.

I just wondered if there was a resource for other states with template-style documents like you have posted.


Legal Documents you need, in a nutshell:

A Will: A state-specific, legally binding ‘who-gets-what’ after you die from guardianship of children/pets to financial assets and your family heirlooms. Also, sometimes Trusts (more below).

Power of Attorney (POA): Legal specification of who is in charge of certain things like your executing your Will, Money, Medical choices, Guardianship, etc. Also, digital rights (more below).

Living Will: also called Advanced Directives, these are your end of life wishes, essentially where and how you prefer to die and clear instructions your Medical POA can follow if you cannot advocate for yourself.

How to get it done, the main three options I found:
1) Hire a lawyer
2) Online template or software
3) Do it Yourself

Where do you find these?
Word-of-mouth is often the best way to find a lawyer (get references). Also, resources and article links with tips to get it done are on the Wills page or check out online options at LegalZoom.

Can I just fill in the template on your site? Probably not a good idea, but it can be a helpful reference – the Will in the Templates section to download is one a lawyer drew up for me, specific to Washington State – I made it a more generic and posted as reference to see the language and the type of info you’ll need to complete yours. It is not intended to be a one-size-fits all doc.

Anything else?

Yes!, don’t feel like an asshole that you don’t have this done yet – over half of America is in the same boat. So, get over it and stop procrastinating and hand-wringing, and just. get. it. done. It only takes a few hours!!!

What’s a Power of Attorney, again?. Who you name as POA is important as they need to be trusted and capable of executing your Will. If you think you should name xxyyxx, but they actually suck at numbers or cave under a little stress, pick someone else. You can name many different people for different roles (Executive, Financial, Medical, Guardianship), and/or others for oversight. Also, name back-ups.

A newer addition to this legal rodeo is a Digital POA, this is important. Digital assets are not always protected by your State law and there isn’t anything yet Federally. So, it takes an extra, 3-minute step. It is crazy, but absolutely true that your online assets (email, shopping, photos, music library, etc.) are not treated the same as the lamp in your living room. So, avoid hassle and potentially losing this stuff by:

#1 – Write down passwords and account info to all your Digital accounts and let one or two people know how to get it.

#2 – Make sure you have a Digital POA specified as they’ll have better legal ownership rights, just in case. The GYST POA template has sample, lawyer-approved, language.

State Laws decide. Laws vary widely on how this stuff works, each State determines what is legally sound and binding, and how probate works. If you die without a will (called dying intestate) it is completely up to them what happens to your stuff/assets/house – often they start with a spouse, to dependents, to parents, etc… but, other complicating factors often arise; Epic family court battles? Loving memorial? You can decide.

Trusts are often set up and included in a Will as they are an additional measure to make probate faster/cheaper and get your assets more quickly into the hands of who you want to have them, again, they vary from state-by-state. For example, I have heard Washington State has a pretty uncomplicated process as compared to California. Always, do your research – these guys do a nice overview of Trusts.

How specific does a Living Will get? The more specific the better as the goal of this document is for you to tell us what you want – your Directives to us, in Advance. Saying, I don’t want to be a vegetable - is not Direct. You get to tell us what your line is so we can advocate for you, when you do not then we have to guess and wonder/worry if we did the right thing or realize too late the line was already long-ago crossed. Links and templates here.

What is the best way? It totally depends on your situation. Those of you who want to do it yourself, you are legally entitled to (and every lawyer will warn you not to). However, in any case – please do your research and make sure you understand the lay of the land, that your will is legally binding per the laws of your state. And, if you can afford a lawyer (make sure it is a good one) then why not, or, if you are able pay $50 or so for a basic will online and that is your budget, then awesome.

Good luck y’all – Onward and Upward!
- Chanel

ps – I am soooo not a lawyer, never played one on t.v. or even entertained the idea of going to law school. So, this is what I learned, and I hope it helps. But, that’s just what I think, it’s your life, so make the best choice for yourself! :)

GYST June Monthly Nudge

Get Your Shit Together’s Monthly Nudge: June 2013

Hello all! SUMMER is here and happy Monthly Nudge to you. Consider this your official hug, poke, reminder or ‘kick-in-the pants’ to help keep your GYST To-Do list on top of the pile. One by one – get it done.

GYST Guidebook Campaign:
Today I launched a campaign to create a bigger and better GYST Guidebook.

Here’s why: Everything on the site now has been consolidated down from a mountain of confusing tasks to the most critical things I wanted you to know. The list of things I wish I would have done ‘before’ that would have made the biggest impact. But honestly, I only know this because of the enormous pile of things I had to figure out and clean up ‘after’. Turns out, there are A LOT of you also buried in cleaning up, or trying to help, and want to know how to make it easier.

So, after reading all the hundreds and hundreds of emails with your stories, templates that helped the most, and the requests and questions you have emailed – trusts, funeral planning, storing info, unmarried couples, car insurance, legacy, separating-households lists, etc. – an easy to use and shareable Guidebook can answer most of this and help everyone.

And, this time – I need some help to make it happen. The campaign just went live a few hours ago, please help if you are able and share if you are willing.

More Good News:
+ You can read our feature story in the June issue of Redbook Magazine online, or pick up a copy.

+ A new link to Compare Insurance Quotes is now on the site – it is free and only takes a few minutes. Life insurance was the financial lifeboat I desperately needed. Especially since times are tight, many of us have debt and little or no emergency savings. Do you have some? Is it enough?

+ Daily (almost) updates are on the GYST Facebook page.

GYST Advisors:
A unbelievably fantastic group of experts and luminaries have agreed to join us as GYST Advisors and I’ll be introducing our founding crew to you over the next few weeks.

And, of course, Your Monthly Nudge Action Items:
1) Review your items from last month on your Checklist.

2) Check off your completed items. Congratulations, isn’t it satisfying?

3) Leaving traces & get photos: Get a 5 minute video of a parent, aunt or dear friend telling you a favorite story, or recipe – then make one of yourself – take pictures all together.

4) Take 5 minutes, this second, to make that appointment you have been blowing off.

You can do it! Keep us posted with your progress and thoughts, I love hearing from you and the rest of us can learn from your tips.

Onward and Upward!
Chanel

March Monthly Nudge Newsletter

Yes it is the beginning of the month already. Here is a sneak peek of the ‘Monthly Nudge’ newsletter heading out to over 13k people on Monday to, you know, keep the important stuff on your To Do list at the top of the pile.

So, how is your list from last month looking? Time to dig it up, check those boxes and get ‘er done. You can do it!

A few updates: Get Your Shit Together will be leading a talk at South by Southwest in Austin on March 12 called The Tangled Web we Leave: Digital Life After Death. It is a huge honor to be invited. I am incredibly excited to be talking about everything from Digital Power of Attorney to should you tweet after you die just because you can? Interesting stuff that impacts us all. I’ll be uploading pictures and highlights all week on the Get Your Shit Together facebook page.

Your March Monthly Nudge Action Items:
-Review your items from last month on your Checklist.
-Check off your completed items. Congratulations, isn’t it satisfying?
-It is tax time soon, so in March review your Money situation and make goals to get your biggest hopes (or worries) taken care of. What are yours? Getting credit cards paid off? Saving More? Finally getting Life Insurance? Make it happen.
-Make a pact with friends! Share via the links above and do it together!

Thank you so much and good luck with your To Do list. You can do it! Keep us posted with your progress and thoughts on here on the blog. I really love hearing from you!