Contingency plans. Rainy day funds. Disaster preparedness. Emergency drills. What do all these things have in common? They all involve identifying worst-case scenarios and planning for them appropriately.
“Hope for the best, plan for the worst”, that’s what I always say. It seems to have worked well up to this point. It’s not that I spend my time imagining all the bad things that could happen. I would probably never leave the house if I did that. It’s just that I’ve always had a desire to be prepared for what could happen.
A case in point today. It’s supposed to snow here tomorrow, up to six inches. I’m at the age where shoveling snow, although still possible, is not something I relish doing. A few years back my neighbor graciously donated an aging snow blower so that I wouldn’t have to shovel. Thanks, Rich, if you’re out there. You’re a peach!
The snow blower worked perfectly last season. I have no reason to believe it won’t work perfectly this season. I could very easily approach this situation with just the first part of my mantra and hope for the best. But I won’t.
The worst thing that could happen is if the snow blower fails to start. I’d be forced into a day of shoveling, which, although it would probably do me good, would also lead to a sore back and aching muscles, or worse. It seems that my sense of my physical limitations has not kept pace with my age. I still think I can do anything, but deep in my heart of hearts I know that’s not true.
The best thing that could happen is that the snow blower starts on the first go. I’ll check it out, make sure all the bits in pieces are in proper working order and put it back in the garage until it’s called upon. Then I’ll go do something I enjoy, like napping. Yeah, I’m a dull thud.
So I’m going to start the snow blower today. If it fails to start today, well, so what. I still have a day to get it running before I really need it. I’ll probably still shovel some, just for the exercise. And it may not snow enough to warrant the snow blower. But I’ll be prepared. Kind of like the fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant.
Moral of the story: live your life like the grasshopper, but make sure you think like the ant.