01 March 2010

Lesson #11: There needs to be A Plan.

The following event (or some similar variation) has happened to me several times in the recent past.

I need to get from Point A to Point B.  I have never been to Point B, or perhaps have never traveled to Point B from the Point A at which I currently reside.  I print out directions.  Or write them on a post-it.  I get in my car.  I drive.  [insert road closure/missed turn/google-maps error here]  I get lost.

I phone a friend.  They talk me down.  They get on their iphone/computer/map (psh!) and help me out, since I have yet to actually put a map in my car. (this is secondary because, in each of the places where I have gotten lost, I will never pull over and bust out a map.  Nope.  Better to keep driving like I know where I am)  They give me directions.  I get to Point B, where I can hopefully pound back a beer.

For all the time and energy I've spent lost, I could really use a GPS. (birthday what?)  But, bid for free technology aside, the time and energy could have been saved had I simply made sure I had a clear idea of where I was going.

Sometimes there are going to be snags, on the way to Point B. It happens.  I either need to be adaptable (good direction sense/focus on Point B), prepared (map/phone), or lucky.  Otherwise, I'm not going to make it.  But even if I'm adaptable, there's another consequence: no one can follow me.  Think of the last time you tried to follow someone who had no idea where they were going: the sharp, sudden turns, the swerves, the circles... it's unfair, to ask someone to follow me when I can't show them a clear path.

So, most importantly, I need to have a Point B, and I need a clear way to get there.  When it needs to change, I change it, to another clear path back to Point B (or C... D...)  Otherwise I'm driving around, wandering through neighborhoods I don't want to be in anyway, just burning fuel.  Life is too short for that.

And yeah.  I'll go get a map.

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