“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.


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