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Friday, September 21, 2012

Long Term Planning

I've got this character in Believed You Were Lucky (which is in the Three Fates Anthology ) who wakes up in the morning and sees a golden thread that often zooms from one obstacle to another in his day and gives him a clue as to which path would be luckiest to travel.  (Since Leif's a bike messenger, this comes in handy!)  Anyway, the interesting thing about this thread (to me!) was that it didn't help a lot in long term planning.  It didn't tell Leif what to major in when he went to college, for example, so he ended up in a major that, well, didn't have a lot of job options when he'd graduated.

But that was okay-- Leif survived on his luck.

Which is lovely--but not when you're planning for five other people.

So I think mother's have sort of a long-term plan in our heads, with a golden thread that threatens to zoom from place to place in order for them to plan...

Well, at least six months in advance.

The problem with this is that for most men this thread seems to go straight from one day to the next, no obstacles, no dodging, no sudden trips to the market.  When these things just (or at maybe most other halves?  I'm sure in lesbian couples there's one short term planner and one long term planner too!) For the people who have to get up and make the lunches, plan the meals, buy the milk, and prepare to answer the eternal question, "What's there to eat?" that thread is constantly running between how much is in the refrigerator, what kind of how much is in the refrigerator, and all of the people in the house who are going to EAT what's in the refrigerator.  That thread plans your week around the first shopping trip (for essentials) and the second shopping trip (for more milk, bread, and vitamin water) and the third shopping trip (for something that you thought you had but didn't and all of the sudden you really needed it, and besides, you probably were going to need milk again soon.)

Any sudden deviations from your regularly scheduled life means that you need to turn left, right, left and then back again to keep traveling along on your thread.  And you need to stay on your thread!  Your thread has your several destinations all mapped out and... and... and... THE WORLD WILL END IF YOU DO NOT STAY ON THE PATH OF THE THREAD!  For sure.  For real.  It's TRUTH!

Okay, so this writing thing?  Has added an extra dimension to that thread--it's now multi-color and in SURROUND SOUND.

I don't just see today and this week, I look ahead for MONTHS.

So, that forest for the trees thing?

Yeah-- I can see how that can happen now.  Because I'm following the thread, right?  And it's taking me right and left and to work out and to the market and to get the kids and to soccer and to dance and to gymnastics if there's time and must write in the nooks and write in the crannies, and the thread says write, and to write, and to write and...

And Chicken's leaving in four days.  And she needs her ID card and she needs her computer fixed and we need to clean the car and...

And the thread does NOT say take a break and watch a movie with Chicken.  Taking a break will cause a wrinkle and then another wrinkle and pretty soon the whole thing will be all snarled and knotted and...

And it's a good thing I knit.  Knitting has made me damned good at unsnarling threads.  I'm going to take that break now, and watch that movie...


Sometimes, it's just best to let the future worry about untangling itself.

4 comments:

Galad said...

You can get back on the thread after untangling, but opportunities to watch a movie with your daughter get to be fewer. Hope the two of you had a great time :-)

Roxie said...

Four days? OMG! Hug her a good one for me!

"When you are up to your ass in alligators, it is difficult to remind yourself that your original objective was to drain the swamp." Some folks get to be swamp drainers only because other people are alligator wranglers. Most people have to be both. And your alligators are dragons,driving mobs of plot bunnies before them. Sometimes, the best thing to do is go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and let the good times roll.

Donna Lee said...

I wouldn't give up a chance to watch a movie with my daughter. Galad is right, those times come few and far between sometimes and should be grabbed no matter how kinked up the thread becomes.

Saren Johnson said...

Is it that time already? It can't be.