“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley …” ~Robert Burns
You know how I like quotes, many that I use are from my memory (and then fact checked). How can you not love “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” as a stand-alone quote or a thought to use in many situations throughout the day (or as a blog post title)? I was going to name today’s post “iPlan” and then thought I should use a quote and of course, either Sidney Sheldon’s The Best Laid Plans or the poor translation of Mr. Burns famous quote (the title used on this post), “The best laid plans of mice and men often go askew.” You have noticed that I often will refer to a quote in the title in an obscure way and since I did not want to use the obvious poor translation, but much better known, [mis]-quote, I started to look for a quote referring to the word “plan.” Although I do like what the young Lauryn Hill said, “We can’t plan life. All we can do is be available for it” I decided to keep looking. Then I looked for a quote on the word “laid” and found the google “images” link while searching, and, well, never got to write the post!
Normally, I think Confucius was a pretty smart guy (a billion Chinese can’t be wrong) but he did claim that “A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.” Easy for you to say, Mr. C, you married the hot Qi Guan in your teens and started popping out the kids right away. Life was pretty good after that. So, sorry to say, I think Mr. C got this one wrong.
What are your plans for Pearlsky after she turns 22?
Umm, I don’t have any.
What are your plans for 10 years from now? Retirement?
Umm, no, none there either.
Let me explain why I don’t make plans by example …
- … until death do us part
- … congratulations, a healthy baby girl!
- … congratulations, a healthy baby boy!
- … you need to come to school and get you daughter …
I have learned not to plan. This is not bad, this does not bother me at all. It bothers others a heck of a lot more than it bothers me. Many of my important plans have gone “poof” and not due to any of my planning or lack there of. Why should I plan?
Pearlsky’s life expectancy is unknown. As is David’s. And mine. I wake up every day wondering what the day will bring. Will a school nurse kill one of my kids? Will I meet a beautiful woman, date for months, have her move in, have her turn psycho, spend hundreds of dollars on her therapy to help get her out? Better to have loved and lost than to live with the psycho forever.
Things change, for good and bad. Plans get ruined for many reasons, many not under the control of the planner. And that is fine, it is life. Sometimes it is even for the best, as they say. But the fact is that plans change and some things cannot be taken into account. As Mr. Rumsfeld pointed out, there are known knowns, known unknowns, and unfortunately unknown unknowns.
I do not know what will happen when Pearslsky turns 22. I will put some things in place, of course, but I don’t know if she will be alive, if I will be alive, or so many other things. And, by the way, Harold Camping has rescheduled the rapture, the judgement day, the start of the end of the world for Pearlsky’s 19th birthday, so this is all moot anyway.
A change in plan is not inherently a bad thing. It may disappoint, it may frustrate, it may hurt … or it may open up new opportunities, challenge you, and make you grow. Or it may just suck.
Of course I have wishes and wants. Can you plan for them? You have to try and strive, but to what level do you plan if you do not have a guarantee that your plan won’t get squashed? Yeah, there are no guarantees in life, I know.
Again, this is not bad, depressing, or any other negative. I do have wishes and wants that I strive for, but the “plans” are short term. What is the next step to that goal as opposed to thinking of all the steps necessary. Make sense? I am filling out all the forms necessary for state and federal agencies involved in Pearlsky’s future (social security, for example).
One thing I know will happen is that I will die. I am assuming that Pearlsky will outlive me, and for that I am planning. But even that may get screwed up. If we die at the same time, there is no one to inherit that money (probably David, but there are issues there). So that plan fails pretty easily, but alas, I do continue with that plan. Having my only heirs be two severely disabled kids makes that plan messy.
Wishes, got a ton of them. Wants, hell yes. Plans, some, but have little faith in them.
I bet your plans got a bit screwed up when you realized your kid’s disability. Before you comment, if you do, understand this: I have business plans and they usually work. I have plans to see Mom soon, and I will. I have back-up plans for most unexpected events. I have short term plans for reaching most of my wishes and wants and goals. But I’ll be damned if I have a plan for where I’ll be in 10 years.
Now you’ll have to excuse me, I have a Memorial Day barbecue to go plan for. Wish you were here, I grill a mean hot dog.
Beyond the general having life insurance thing, I don’t plan either. For the same reasons, I suppose. When I think back on the early days of my life with Sophie, I didn’t plan either. And if I knew then where I’d be today, I wouldn’t have planned; I’d probably have killed myself. I say that in an ironic tone, naturally — because where I am right now is just fine. I imagine that the future will be just fine, too — whatever comes.
Now I’m going to pull a cake out of the oven that I wish I were bringing to you in exchange for a grilled hot dog.
I have only planned to the point of making a will and a special needs trust for my son. For anyone reading the comments who has a kiddo who uses medicaid and/or SSI, you need to set up a special needs trust or else your child may lose their assistance because of their inheritance from you. Even if it’s a small life insurance policy, it could screw things up a lot.
I know this is off topic but…
I am envious that you have enough energy (and talent) to author a blog which can provide, in some small way, support for you. When I have those “me against the idiots” moments, I feel too exhausted to describe what has happened in detail to another person, or can’t remember each thing that was done/said specifically enough to recount it properly and help others understand how truly evil some people are when they are trying to cover their asses. As a result of this, I don’t have a support system in place. It sucks. Reading your blog makes me realize that there are other people out there that are dealing with the same awful things, and that helps me deal with my awful things better…even though you know nothing about my situation. So thank you for that.
There’s a special needs trust in place, with a somewhat reluctant executor,
but the long overdue guardianship thing fell apart when my successor guardian decided she just couldn’t do it, and I haven’t found a realistic replacement. This is never not on my mind. Harold’s rescheduled rapture
probably won’t change things in my world unless it triggers earthquakes. Where’s that big asteroid? I am in fact talking with a few people about the idea of, in essence, forming a tribe, having enough land for everyone to live on with our kids and watching over them for each other as we age and die, hopefully not all at the same time. But it’s just discussion at this stage, and a hard thing to transform into a workable and lasting reality. Yeah, best to plan for the next couple of hours. A vegan hot dog? Bleh. Potato salad, maybe. @Eden: There’s a whole blogosphere of folks who understand exactly what you’re talking about!
I’m no longer a planner, either.
We have guardians named – my sister – in – law and her husband. Sis – In – Law is a speech pathologist who has plenty of experience dealing with the whole special needs thing, and both she and her husband are generally amazing people. I trust that they will take great care of Monkey if the time ever comes. Other than that, I’m mostly playing things by ear.
Lets say I’m a little glad you didn’t start off with another Robbie Burns quote ” fair fae your honest sonnsie face, great chieftan of the puddin race”… you would have had me salivating and planning for the bottle of scotch!
Alas…. as another quote says ” life is what happens when you are busy making other plans” and we all live this far too often…..
These days I don’t have “plans”, I have a generally described destination in mind and just accept that there are about a million different ways of getting to that destination and the ultimate path will be decided by the squillion variables in life…. then one foot in front of the other I set off in the general direction and wait for the road blocks, mountains, gullies, slammed doors and other general barriers to reveal themselves along the way.
In the will it bequeaths “wheelchair, with contents” to some poor schmuck, I forget who. Watching latest plans crash and burn as I write…
I don’t plan either, one of my more commonly used lines: “I could be dead by then”. I play it all by ear and that has worked well so far. I do have a will the expresses my wishes regarding where my girlie would go. And I have ‘disinherited’ her in this will because if she doesn’t come with any money-her bio father won’t want her.
@A&A thanks for your comment. I’m appreciating that the blogosphere you reference is out there!
Hello Single Dad,
I’m the Mother of a 5 year old Special Needs son,
and have been following your blog for some time.
If you need an apt quote for another post re planning;
one of my favorite sayings is the Yiddish proverb,
“Mentsch tracht und Gott lacht”
[Translation: Man plans and God laughs]
L O L ! Better to have loved and lost than to live with the psycho forever.
Planning ahead is hard. We’ve been trying forever. Even with a little more money and time on our hands, this year, it’s simply impossible.
The End of the World thing irks me terribly. Mr. Camping obviously didn’t read his Bible very closely or he”d be familiar with Matthew 24 which states, in summary, that NOBODY knows when the world will go Ker-blooey, not even the angles in heaven or Jesus. Only God knows and he’s not telling.
What irks me even more is Camping’s arrogance that he was smart enough to figure out the puzzle. Aren’t Christians supposed to be humble? Anybody who spouts off on radio and TV and puts up billboards that scare the crap out of little kids (“Mom! It says the world is going to end! Bwawahhh! I’m scared!”) is following a twisted agenda for personal gain and glory. The Bible isn’t the DaVinci Code, for cat’s sake. The old fart needs to get himself some nice sudoku puzzles to keep himself busy and stop messing with people’s heads.