An old saying maintains that plans are ineffective, but planning is invaluable. It’s in line with the military proverb, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” But the information and intelligence gathering that prepared you for contact helped you endure.
With great sympathy to the “you can do anything you dream” crowd, I’ve described a very accurate depiction of getting older. Unfortunately, without some planning and preparation, Your contact with the enemy will become, in the words of another military truism, a cluster fuck. Even then, It may not be very pretty.
It was becoming clear last year that physical therapy would no longer make a bad hip a decent one. What nature had provided me was just plain worn out. Never being one to sit about idly, I knew that the old one owed me nothing. In August, I had the replacement, and by the end of November began to pick up the pace of life with the new hip.
So the new hip is among the things different now as the year ends and the new year starts. But also, there is a pressing realization that even with careful attention to your health and well-being, things wear out. There are limits to planning as well as plans.
I have several springtime reorganization projects that I need to tackle. I’m never lukewarm about these projects. I either look forward to them or dread the entire thing.
Yesterday the workshop became the target of my attention. I’m in the shop so often I’m especially aware when its typical clutter descends into chaos. I estimated that I’d spend an hour sorting out the tools I rarely use, putting them into labeled drawers, and move on to another project.
That was ten in the morning. At ten in the evening, I still had work to do. As usual, bumping one thing to make room for another created a cascade effect. Each little cascade resulted in one or more items that needed relocation.
Why do I persist in mentally oversimplifying complexity? Blanket statements are dangerous, but I feel safe saying that some of this is avoidable. Have you heard of the “seven P’s” – Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance? My goal was to clean and reorganize; honestly, there are several hours of work left.
Here’s a nice German word for you: schlimmbesserung. It means an effort to make things better that ends up making them worse. Enough said.