OfMiceAndMenIn 1937 that great author John Steinbeck wrote in in his novel Of "Mice and Men" these two lines:

The best-laid plans of mice and men
Often go awry

Never has a truer thing been said about planning.

A few days after the excitement of planning, real life - the one we have little control over - started to intrude on our plan. I am just amazed that somehow I didn't see this coming. It's a given.

We can only control what we can control. The world out there is not one of those things. It has a mind of its own, and it will do what it wants, and when it wants.

It is also true that we can seldom do only one thing. There are other aspects to our lives, important parts of our lives that need to be attended to.

There are many other cliche's I can use to illustrate this.

  • "No man lives on an island."
  • "Isolation is a self-defeating dream" Carlos Salinas de Gortari
  • "We don't function well as human beings when we're in isolation" Robert Zemeckis
  • "Isolation is a dream killer" Barbara Sher

They all say the same thing pretty much. We are social beings, our lives are dominated by other people. The worst punishment in the world is solitary confinement.

So we have to deal with the world, while also trying to implement our own plans. The real point I am trying to make is that we have to work around the changes.

For instance, while I am writing this we have learnt that power load shedding will start again today. This means that what I had planned to do in those two plus hours will now have to be done at another time. This is only Stage 1 load shedding. If we progress to Stages 2 or 3, we will lose even more hours. I can see us working at all strange hours.

We have also experienced disagreements between Pat and I as to how we proceed. Each time there is a change, it takes away the focus from what we are doing.

This is the nature of life. We need to be agile in dealing with our business, and ultimately our lives.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to commit to deadlines - especially when those deadlines have been made publicly.

The lessons in all this are as follows:

  • Make sure the goals are understood and agreed
  • Be united in going forward - the approach needs to be "what's needed," or, "what can I do to help?"
  • Have short little meetings to discuss the constantly changing environment, decide together what needs to be done, agree, and implement.
  • Expect change.
  • Be surprised if nothing changes in a couple hours.
  • Expect change.
  • Have options. Have plans B, and C, and even D. It's much easier to decided on which plan to implement, than to have to create completely new plans each time something changes.

Ahh, such is real life...

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