Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Value of Planning

A lot of people we know turn up their noses at the mere idea of "planning," except, of course, when the county approves something they don't like in their back yard.  Everyone can benefit from planning.  Even the most rudimentary plans are better than nothing.  Susun and I have always totally believed that proper planning is part and parcel of a practical future.  Whenever we begin to think of something, we always make plans for it.  Making those plans is part of the process of "making it happen."

Planning requires visualization.  You kind of have to be able to "see" what it is that you are planning for.  Even if it is as simple as the example I going to use below, it still has a definite and discrete value and purpose.  Planning is part of the essence of being alive.  I feel certain that even Neanderthals "planned."  They may not have had language as we know it.  They may have only communicated by grunts around a fire.  But they planned.  They knew where they were going to kill and eat the next Mastodon.  They knew how they would attack it and they knew what each man would do.  They somehow survived against impossible odds because they had a Plan!  They plans worked perfectly, even if they did drive Mastodons and Woolly Mammoths to total extinction.

So WTH are we talking about here anyway?  OK, it's all about the Cook Shack.  If you will recall, we actually articulated a "Plan" back on September 25th.  You can click here to read the full blog post.
The bottom line of our Cook Shack "Plan" was this:

"I got to thinking how I should write down what I want to do in my cook shack (AKA: Man Cave). Hum...let's see, here goes:

A)  Grill, BBQ and smoke all sorts of pork and poultry.
B)  Play with a vast assortment of cast iron toys, esoteric kitchen utensils and arcane grill tools.
C) Stand around in unhealthful smoke swilling unhealthful beverages.
D) Listen to wind whistling through cracks and gaps in shoddy construction.
E) Hear rain pelting onto cheap metal roof.
F) Play cassettes of low rent Mexican banda music, maybe MP3's of The Monkees, too.
G) Leave cave (er, cook shack) carrying large, foil-covered tray of delicious food."

That was "The Plan."  Simple.  Pure.  And honest.

Well, tonight, we reaped all the rewards of our plan, a mere month later.  We baked a meat loaf in El Turco and a 5.75 pound chicken in the Patio Caddie.  We played with a vast assortment of cast iron and other toys, utensils and tools.  Happy Hour Beverages flowed freely. We listened to the wind whistling through cracks and gaps and loved the melody of the hard rain pelting onto the cheap metal roof.  We played John Prine music from a CD player into headphones and we walked back through a driving rain in two trips carrying large, foil-covered trays of delicious food.

Folks, that's what planning is all about.  it doesn't have to be some World Class thing about the future of your community--it can be as simple as how to make a Pot Luck Picnic turn out to be a Golden Moment.  It can be as simple as any of the most basic things you do.  If you plan, everything turns out mostly "according to plan."

We love planning!  And we sure do also love the latest rewards of planning: the priceless sound of rain drumming on a steel roof while we're listening to John Prine and smelling an awesome aroma of meatloaf and baked chicken wafting together in cook shack heaven.

Cheers!  jp

PS--What John Prine were we listening to?  Oh, you've heard it before.  But you can click here to hear it again.

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