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Thursday, December 16, 2010

The best-laid plans are probably better laid than the best plans I've ever laid, because my plans often turn out to be laid wrong. There's always a hitch or a glitch or a gaping lacuna. Maybe sometimes my plans are laid perfectly, but that's when execution fails. Something always keeps reality from looking the way it looked in my mind when I laid the plans.

So I don't make plans unless I have to. I don't make plans unless I'm forced to. I blithely float along on other people's currents, content that (a) they probably know where they're going better than I do, and (2) if it all goes to hell it won't be my fault. Life can rich and wonderful in the land of the planless, as long as your expectations are adjusted accordingly.

Sometimes, as I hinted, I'm forced to take the oars myself. That's usually something that happens within my work life, because I have been described, on various forms and documents, as some sort of "manager." (Can you imagine?) So when the Boss asks me how much money I need to get through the week, and I give him a figure, I have to find a way to make that work. It taxes my brainpower.

Today it was something else. Remember when I was so satisfied that I'd finished my Christmas shopping and wouldn't have to drive through crowded streets to crowded stores until well after the kids were back in school next year? Yeah, well, guess what. I took an inventory of office supplies and realized I don't have enough paper or ink to make it to next week, much less January.

If I were a different person, I'd order my supplies on line or by phone. Instead, I found myself vocally correcting the idiocy of the other drivers as I made my way, inch by inch, to the other side of the freeway where the office supply store is located. Then I smiled and nodded at the other shoppers who were standing in the aisle deciding on whatever people who shop for office supplies a week before Christmas decide on.

What was I going to do, push them aside with my shopping cart? Or clear my throat? No, that's not me. I'm much more vocal inside the car, surrounded by all that protective armor, than I am out in public, surrounded by actual human beings. But I made it, somehow, and now I'm finished with all outings to public places, at least until the next plan goes awry and forces me to change course.

Of course, the principle at work here, and the main theme of this essay, says that I will have forgotten something so essential that I'll have to go out in the rain on Christmas Eve with no money and panhandle for enough to buy a paper clip. That's quite obvious to me, having lived with this condition all my life.

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