Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Problem with Planning

Grab this related post Widget!
This was Day 1 of getting some structure in my life. And it all started out so well (uh-oh—is this a dead giveaway or what?)----------.

I was going to get up at a specified time—check. We won’t discuss what that time was because I went to bed rather late—actually very late—who knew going to the damn symphony could turn into a party--but work with me, I’m easing into this.

Go to the grocery store—check. Strapped on the backpack and jumped on the bike. Barely got everything I bought into the backpack, almost fell over sideways hoisting my leg over the bike with an incredibly cumbersome load now on my back (wine is heavy!) and got everything here and unloaded.

Do yoga—u-m-m-m. After all this exercise I’m hungry, and I just bought the fixings for a yummy sandwich. You know what’s good about yoga? You can do it anytime. So later on that one.

Explore a new area—w-e-l-l-l-l. It was a beautiful day and this was a great idea. But the US Open semifinals were happening, my son, daughter, and respective spouses were actually at the Open last weekend, and I haven’t seen one second of TV in two months. I’m wishing my son-in-law Happy Birthday online, at the same time bitching about my situation, and he suggests a “live streaming” website.

I try it and it works! Well, it kinda works—more like live dripping than live streaming, but in fits and starts I hear John McEnroe’s voice and tennis players moving around, I see a couple of commercials (I remember hating commercials) and I’m so excited.

I go downstairs to get a beer—oops, I just realized I haven’t told you this part of our story. Yes, we moved into our residence, but I cannot get anyone to show up and move our HUGE refrigerator from the 2nd floor to the 4th floor. So down and up, down and up I go every time something chilled is a requirement for my existence. I’ve nickname this particular part of our building the “Stairway to Hell,” as opposed to------.

But in the stairwell, inside my neighbor’s door I hear—I think I hear—so por que no, I knock. He opens the door and—YES!!!—he’s watching the tennis on a real TV, not a herky-jerky little laptop. I offer beer as an admission fee; he accepts!

So I didn’t explore the new area today. I watched TV with my neighbor for the 1st time in two months, the US Open semi-finals on a real TV, and I’m damned proud of my decision, even though Federer lost in 5 sets.

I think planning is overrated. No, that’s not fair. I think obsessive planning is overrated. From my time on this planet I’ve learned more than once that you can plan a trip in every detail—where you’re staying every night, what you’re doing every day—I’ve done it--but you can never plan for what’s over the next hill or around the next curve. More than once it’s been a figurative 18-wheeler on the wrong side of the road.

And I have myself uttered the old chestnuts about “A failure to plan is a plan to fail” and “If you don’t know where you’re going wherever you end up is fine.” God knows those words have never been even thought of in Ecuador, but somewhere between the obsessive/compulsive behavior of the US that has created so much so quickly, but at what cost, and the “es possible manana” culture that makes Ecuador, well, Ecuador, I’m seeking equilibrium, a happy medium between anal/retentive and carpe diem. Today was a good 1st step—the tennis is over, and that neighborhood will be there tomorrow.

In the meantime, there’s still time for that yoga---------------------.

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