Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Back-up Plan.

Harry Stamper: “What’s your contingency plan?”
Truman: “Contingency plan?”
Harry Stamper: “Your backup plan. You gotta have some kind of backup plan, right?”
Truman: “No, we don’t have a backup plan. This is it.”
-- Armageddon

We all have those little guilty pleasures. The comfort food we shouldn’t wallow in. The glass of wine to cap a rough day. Impulse purchases. That dog-eared book you keep coming back to. 

Guilty pleasures have gotten me through my loneliest nights, bouts of boredom, excessive workloads and fits of anger. They come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the situation at hand. And tonight requires an explosive dose.

No matter my mood, there is nothing quite like a dose of end-of-the-world-Bruce-Willis-Ben-Affleck-bravado-and-testerone-conquer-massive-asteroid-hurtling-toward-earth to distract me. It’s just the ridiculous thing I need to take my mind off of the asteroids, internal and beyond, that ricochet quietly and sometimes not-so-quietly through my atmosphere. Flicking through the channels it’s as though my cable provider has the inside track. 

Damsel in distress? Biceps blowing up things to the rescue.

I wish I could push a button and that thing causing the muscle-binding agony in my jaw would go … poof! … in a spectacular display worthy of the irritation it causes me. But there’s not one big thing. There are tiny things, and little things, and little bit bigger things and two or three much larger things angling for superiority over them all. Some are inconsequential and some are not. Some are of my own doing, others are well beyond my control. And some are things that weren’t in the first plan and definitely aren’t in the backup plan. And, frankly, I don’t care to see them fit into any of my plans.

We are the most advanced species on this planet, and yet we do everything we can to get in our own way. Too often we pick at the little things instead of celebrating what we achieve and what we overcome. Too many negatives, not enough positives. Instead of lifting ourselves and each other up, we find comfort and security in doing exactly the opposite. Instead of pointing out our shortcomings and our poor decisions, why aren’t we willing to see the potential and the good? Why aren’t we willing to say those things out loud, but we’re immediate on the draw when we see an opportunity to shoot holes where holes already exist? It’s as if we’re inherently afraid of the possibility that life could be, well, according to plan … whatever that plan may be.

My life has not gone according to plan, and I’ve found peace with that. Even, dare I say, optimism? But optimism is easily vanquished in the face of fear. 

“What does it mean? What am I going to do?”

“We’re going to do what we always do. We’ll get some answers and we’ll deal with it. And if we have to, we’ll make a new plan.”