Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Five-Year Plan...Not!

Life is funny -- you make schedules, you make plans, you book appointments, you chart routes both literally and figuratively. And you try to maintain those schedules, follow through with those plans, keep those appointments and try not to get lost when you take those decided-upon routes.

I know people who prepare budgets, discuss future schools for their t00-young children, simchas for their too-young children, vacations for themselves, home-improvement ideas for the exterior and interior of their home -- these are people with a five-year plan.

Is there something wrong with me if I don't have that kind of plan? If I can't make that kind of plan? I can't even plan for next week, or next month or later in the year -- how can I plan for the next five years?

Our shul requires families to book with deposit a bar mitzvah three years in advance because of competitive popularity of this particular shul -- how can I know three years prior, when my son is ten years old, what kind of/quality of simcha we'll be having, therefore which of the shul's several social halls I will want to use, whether or not my son will read the whole parsha or just haftorah, or even if we'll still be living in the area and attending that shul?

A lottery. The bar mitzvah dilemmas in the shul are settled by a lottery. Remember that infamous short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson...? Not sure I want to partake in this bar mitzvah lottery. Why, what am I -- a rebel with a CLAUSE!?

I'm always being told by people around me, "Pearl, gotta remember... zrizut." [expedience, speediness] In other words, adhere to the motto "The early bird catches the worm." I don't like worms and I'm not in the mood to catch any. So does that make me a bad person?

I've learned from personal experience that even the best-made plans encounter glitches -- life gets in the way. Whether it be due to illness or something far worse, whether it be due to acts of nature, whether it just be due to cold feet on your or someone else's part, "things don't always go according to plan."

So there you have it. In that cliche. Proof that I shouldn't make a five-year plan -- so why is everyone else not listening?