8.31.2013

It's BW(owo)M Weekend and I Want to Write About Backup Plans

My thesis here is that people who get bored easily don't have a backup plan.

This is Labor Day weekend, and that means I am hosting BIKE WITH (or WITHOUT) MELINDA this weekend. It's my annual bike ride up north at my family's cabin. It's a great way to spend the holiday weekend away from it all. Free lodging and no competition for campsites, biking, socializing, etc.

This year there will be four of us going. Todd and Sherry are driving up from Oshkosh on their own, but I am car pooling up with a mutual friend named Jerome. I had wanted to write a blog post this morning, but I did not think I would have time, because Jerome was supposed to be at my house (coming from Milwaukee) at 9 AM. I had to drop Buddy off at the kennel at 8:15 AM and then I was going to load some of my trip gear into the car, assuming that would not give me enough time to write a post.

However, when I was at the kennel, I got a text from Jerome telling me he was running late. I assumed he was maybe running 15 or 20 minutes late, but when I texted him back asking for his ETA, so I could plan around it, he said he would be an hour late.

Now, most people might get pissed off if they had plans and someone said they would be an hour late. It is certainly better to let people know you will be an hour late than to not do so and be an hour late anyway. If you do that, you are likely to be left behind. I usually allow a time range of plus or minus 15 minutes when making plans. If someone is 14 minutes late, I will still be there when they arrive, but if they are 16 minutes late, without calling, I will not be there. If someone is 14 minutes early, I will typically be clothed. But if they are 16 minutes early, I may still be naked and drying off from my shower.

Some people still might be pissed off when told that their traveling companion will be an hour late. This is usually the case with unimaginative people. These people may feel lost at sea when they were expecting to be on the road driving somewhere fun at 9:15 AM and now they come to find out they have to fill a previously occupied 45 to 60 minutes.

Not me though. I actually had three backup plans. In fact, I was going to be a little bit creatively frustrated if I did not get to type a blog post this morning. Sometimes, when I drive up to the cabin solo during the summer, I will use the 4.5 hour drive to type out a 10 minute blog post, albeit illegally, while driving. It's not the same as texting, because there is no urgency and I can set the smart phone down as needed when there is traffic. But often the roads up to the cabin are relatively empty and no one is in danger. I know my limits and I type slowly, 2 or 3 letters at a time, then looking up to swerve back into my lane on the highway (just kidding, I don't weave when I blog in the car). The slower typing actually gives me time to think and write more thoughtful posts. But when I have a driving companion, I would not type blog posts on my smart phone in the car. In part, this belies the fact that my protestations to the contrary above, blogging while driving has some risk involved, and I do not want to put a passenger in jeopardy. But it's also a little bit rude.

Since I have a carpool compadre this weekend, I had hoped to get a quick blog post typed in at home. That turned out to be contingency plan #1 and was entertained when Jerome said he would be an hour late.

Contingency plan #2 was to practice some piano. However, I can do that up at the cabin, now that my folks have a piano up there. So after I finish this post, I think I am going to implement contingency plan #3 and go to the Piggly Wiggly to pick up some travel food and get a snack, since I did not eat breakfast.

Unimaginative people might spend their extra hour fuming and twiddling their thumbs while waiting for their late traveling companion to show. But I am actually glad Jerome is late, because I can produce better outcomes for my life in that hour. Cool, huh?

Joe

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