Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Preparation is the Key to Peace of Mind

The first snowfall arrived overnight. I love waking up to a soft, pearly white blanket of snow covering the ground. The only time I really love the snow is in the month of December. Snow just makes me anticipate the holidays even more. However (and you knew there had to be a however, didn't you?) the arrival of the season's first snowfall also brings with it the overriding feeling of panic. You see, I always think I've got the preparation covered for the first snow. Jackets, boots, gloves, hats, scarves, snow pants - whatever - but inevitably I find myself scrambling.

And so it was this yesterday morning. I hadn't been paying attention to the weather reports. I knew it was cold but I figured I'd have a few more days to deal with getting all those preparations set up. Daughter Two needed new winter boots (the kid keeps growing!) and my son needed new waterproof gloves. I was going to shop on the weekend but we'd just got back from a three day hockey tournament and laundry needed to be done, plus I had to get started on Christmas presents, plus some grocery shopping… well. You can guess the rest. Daughter Two had to go to school with running shoes (and thankfully it wasn't a massive dump of snow so it's not like she froze to death or anything) and Son just had to make do with soggy mitts for the day. And for the life of me I just didn't think about making him wear snow pants. Okay, so he'll have to live with soggy pants for the day too.

My point is, I know when I'm prepared - when I've planned for all eventualities - I'm a happier and more at peace person. So why don't I do it? I liken it to planning the plot of the middle of my books. I know I should do it, realize that it will make my life easier in the long run but for some reason I can't fathom, I put it off until the very last minute (i.e. when I reach the middle of the book) and then start to scramble. So I was yesterday morning, scrambling to find a pair of leather - not cloth - runners my daughter could wear and hoping I could find a pair of gloves that would give my son some measure of warmth if not waterproofing ability. I managed to do it and I went shopping with Daughter Two for her boots later(and sons gloves) but I should have done this weeks ago.

Well, lesson hopefully learned. If I didn't manage to plan for the first snowfall, I am planning the plot for the next few chapters of the WIP. It's time consuming and it feels sometimes like I'm spinning around in circles (much like boot shopping with my daughter) but I know, in the end, I will be a much happier writer for having done it.

Those Boy Scouts had it right: Always Be Prepared.


  1. I think some part of our subconscious figures if we don't prepare, the inevitable won't happen. ("Of course it won't snow--I'm not ready for it.")

    The logical part of our brain knows this makes no sense, but logic goes out the window when you're avoiding something you don't want to think about. ;)

  2. Hi Linda: Yes, I think you're right. That subconcious mind does control more than we think. But really, I think the term we're avoiding here is "Procrastination". The bane of my existence!