Happy New Year: The Importance of Preparation

As we all prepare for a New Year, I’m reminded of the importance of preparation. I’d venture to say that all of us, in one way or another, are prepared for some things and not prepared for other things. For me, I like to be prepared when I go on vacation. You may love to be prepared when company comes over or preparing for a special date. When we’re prepared, we position ourselves to handle the inevitable challenges that come in life.

Throughout my life I have been serving others in many different areas. From my days in restaurants to when I served in the Navy to volunteering with various charities and as a funeral professional, the one consistent theme in all of these areas of service has been this idea of preparation.

Preparation is the key to any successful event or ceremony. Just think about the last time you went to a wedding, birthday, anniversary or any other important even that was not planned well. What was that like? At O’Connor Mortuary, preparation is critical to our success in serving you. We believe that the more we can help you prepare for the inevitable in life, the less your family is going to have to work out of crisis-mode.

That is why I’m so excited to begin blogging in 2012 as a way to share helpful information that will assist you in preparing and planning for your family’s unique needs. Specifically, myself, the O’Connor Mortuary staff and our team of guest bloggers from the community are going to write about three key subjects:

  • Life’s Ceremonies & Rituals
  • Preparation in Life
  • Service to Self & Others

We are going to offer a well-balanced approach of topics related to life and death. Within these key topics, the importance of preparation will be an on-going theme because the better prepared we are for any situation, the better equipped we will be to handle it.

So as I close, I have a few final questions for you, “Name a time in your life when preparation paid off? Describe an event or gathering you went to that was poorly planned? What are you preparing for in 2012?”

I’d love your thoughts and comments.

 

Neil

About Neil

I was born into a large Irish Catholic family in 1967 as the youngest of seven children.

My Grandfathers were best friends & coincidentally, both owners of funeral homes. John Cox (Oakland) had Joseph A. O’Connor (Los Angeles)or “Johnny” as his best man at his wedding. My parents, Joe & Jane O’Connor, met through the friendships of my grandparents.
I moved to Laguna Niguel as a child & graduated from Dana Hills High School in 1986. I served in the Navy before finally joining the family business in 1989 and establishing the 4th generation of our family-owned & operated business. In 2000, after the retirement of my father, I became the President & CEO of O’Connor Mortuary.
I met my wife, Lisa, in Maui while on a yoga retreat in 2003 and we now have a son –
Jesse Joseph O’Connor – the pride & joy of my life.
I still actively play Beach Volleyball at Victoria Beach in Laguna Beach and practice Ashtanga Yoga, I’m extremely passionate about these practices, about staying healthy and balanced in my body, mind & soul.
As CEO I am privileged to be involved with partners in our community such as Saddleback Hospital, Mission Hospital, Age Well Senior Services, San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce, TIP Trauma Intervention Program, and many others. My driving passion is to provide education, care & support to my family, friends & community.

I love helping others when they need it the most.

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  • Neil,

    Nice job on your first official blog. Look forward to reading future blogs and the great topics you will be tackling. Like the boy scout motto says “Be Prepared” See you next year in 2012.

    • neil.oconnor

      Chuck – Happy New Year to you and your family! May this year bring you many great memories and blessings.
      I am counting on you to be our “Scout Leader” in be prepared for 2012, are you ready?

  • Patricia Kolstad

    Happy New Year, Neil.
    What a great opening blog! We all know that when we don’t prepare, things usually don’t end up the way we envision them. Sometimes we put off preparing, thinking we will have enough time . . when the time comes. Not so!
    It’s been a year, but I remember all the preparation that went into the miracle birth of your son, Jesse Joseph. I know that you and Lisa put your whole heart, mind, body and soul into making sure that Jesse had the best possible 9 months of development a baby could have. What a miracle when it came time welcome your son and you had the expertise of those incredible professionals at Mission Hospital, who took over and took care of all of the myriad of details, assuring you that Lisa and Jesse would be just fine. Preparation and choosing the right professionals. It means the difference between “calm” and “chaos”.

    • neil.oconnor

      Pat –
      THanks for your reply, Happy New Year! You have been one of our community advocates for education and preparation for years, thank you for your commitment. We see the difference in our lives when we take the time to think through our days or events. Our results are always better when we have a plan, “a fools plan is better than no plan at all”. I am looking forward to a bright 2012 with you!

  • H. Ace Villagrana

    Hi Neil,
    Excellent way to begin the New Year!
    The more families I continue to serve – the more evident it becomes on the importance of “being prepared”
    Thank you for a fabulous “First Blog” and a great beginning for the new year 2012!
    I am looking forward to a fabulous new year!!!

    Ace

    • neil.oconnor

      Hi Ace –

      Happy 2012! Great job this year in helping our community understand the benefits of being prepared.
      What a great gift you give your family when you pre plan your funeral or cremation services, as you know, the main motivation is to spare your loved ones from having to make these decisions. The second biggest motivator is the cost savings! I am proud of your hard work and your commitment to serving others. May you have a blessed 2012!

  • FRANNIE CANTOR

    Neil Hi,

    Thanks for the “BLOG” Looking forward to preparedness. Last year I did start
    preparation of life because I did not want my Children doing and not knowing what
    I wanted. Still need to come in to complete it. Neil, may this year bring you comfort
    for all that you do at O’ Connors Mortuary with a wonderful understanding Staff.

    Blessing to you all. May the New Year bring Harmony with Faith, Hope & Love
    to each and every one of us. With God at our side.

    • neil.oconnor

      Hi Frannie –

      Thank you for your comments, Happy 2012 to you and your family!We are here for you when you would like to complete your arrangements. May you have a blessed New Year!

  • GREG FORSTER

    Hi Neil,

    Congrats on your first blog. Your comments are thought-provoking and necessary. They also allow all of us to remember events in which we made the effort to prepare, experienced the results, and were then able to congratulate ourselves and others on a job well done. Sometimes, the good feelings are fleeting, sometimes they last with us our whole lives, to be remembered at a moments notice when something jogs our memory…and once again a smile of satisfaction brightens our day. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing we have done our best…especially when we have worked in advance to make life’s decisions easier for others.

    As a Pre-Need Family Counselor with the O’Connor community, I take satisfaction in helping others to explore their needs, acknowledge their wishes, and to plan ahead for their future. My favorite moment in an appointment comes at the very end, when I am able to congratulate someone for a job that they did for others and that they took the time to do well. There is nothing quite like the smile that comes back to me!

    Greg Forster

    • neil.oconnor

      Hi Greg –

      Thanks for you comments. I am reminded of the events in my life that went well when I took the time to plan them, and I have even a greater memory of events that did not go according to “the lack of planning”. Life is pretty simple when you get down to the basics, KISS! Yet, we find ways to forget about the benefits of planning even when we have made the same mistake twice.I will admit if I don’t map out my day/week/month I have just become the problem, it pays to make a plan. Make a plan and work your plan. It is great to see you in your role as a trusted advisor, many blessing in 2012 for you and your family!

  • Many in this country, when presented with the option of volunteering to teach, would gladly give of their time to do so.

    • neil.oconnor

      Elijah –
      THank you for your response! I agree with you 100%
      Have a great weekend!
      Neil

  • Here is another valuable tip to consider start counting your blessings and appreciating youself your personal value.

  • Hi Page –

    Thank for your reply!

    I agree everyday we need to be thankful for what we have and try and not worry about what we don’t have.
    Many blessing to you!

    Neil