1956: Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Anyone that knows me, will know that I greatly enjoy the arts – particularly film, theatre and music. Hence this blog is splattered with film and literature references. As a financial planner, I think it is helpful for clients and anyone wanting to become one, that you get a flavour of who I am and why I do what I do. I’m lucky to be living and working near to one of the world’s cultural centres – London, so I try to take advantage of what is close at hand.
Last week I was at the Richmond Theatre to see David Suchet (known to most for his portrayal of Hercule Poirot) and Laurie Metcalf, who is probably best known to the world for her role in the TV series Roseanne. Both are brilliant. They play husband and wife in Eugene O’Neill’s melancholic play “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” which explores a dysfuntional family unable to speak helpfully to one about the very real struggles that they all have coping with life’s disappointments and tragedy. The story, set in 1912, itself semi-autobiographical of the author’s own experiences, is both painfully gritty but supremely performed by all four cast members.
Much like the hammer that sees every problem as a nail, as a financial planner, I could not help but think that with a good financial plan, perhaps James Tyrone would have known how much he could spend and whether he had “enough” to prevent his nightmare scenario of returning to the poor house. This may have enabled him to take a very different view of his sons and his relationship with his wife, who suffers from borderline personality disorder and is addicted to morphine. Whilst I am not pretending that money will solve problems, understanding it clearly, having a unique financial plan (that accounts for disaster) would have provided this family with the starting point to improve and possibly repair their relationships. Something that they all wanted desperately, but lacked the ability to see how this might occur.
It is this potential to help people have a better understanding of money, so that they can focus on the important things in life (not money) – which to my mind is about knowing others and being known and enjoying many of life’s wonderful experiences. So many people fail to fully live life because they have no clear idea about what they want and how much it costs. The power of financial planning, when done properly is not (contrary to what one financial planner recently suggested) about the “toys”. To my mind it is about the freedom that can be found in understanding what you really value. It is not about the money.
Tickets to the play are not easy to come by – which is a testament to the quality of David Suchet and Laurie Metcalf. The show continues at Richmond until Saturday 3rd March before moving to Milton Keynes, then Glasgow before heading for the West End from 3rd April at the Apollo Theatre with a planned run until August.
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