In discussing it with her, I’ve learned there are two ideas that drive her incessant planning. The first is optimization. She looks at nearly everything from the perspective of there being a “right” way. This is not a moral judgement, but one that is focused on efficiency and effectiveness. If she has a chance to think about it for long enough or do a bit of research, the right way will present itself. On countless occasions, I’ve made suggestions about how to improve a process only to find out that she had considered it and dismissed it, like, four ideas ago.
The second driver is regret avoidance. I’ve rarely seen Sachi more disappointed than when she misses an opportunity to optimize and feels the sting of regret. In this case, regret is a signal that the desired result was possible, but went unnoticed or unoptimized. This realization, that the present could have been better with a bit more consideration, really does sting. To her, it feels like a personal failure.
Now, Sachi and I are very different and I admit that she’s helped me become a better, more observant planner. But man, I sometimes long for a bit of chaos. When everything has a bulletproof plan, there’s not a lot of room for surprise or serendipity. I miss the days of living closer to real time, when events force you to make decisions on-the-fly. There is magic in letting the chips fall where they may.
A good example is our dogs who are managed like any other project. Generally, I want them to be free and get used to being off-leash now that we’re out of the city. Sachi wants to keep them safely on-leash, and there are valid reasons why this is the case.
On a recent occasion, we parked the car outside the Yurt where I said, “Screw it”, and let the dogs out of the car without leashes. The moment Piper hit the ground, she saw a deer
and chased it across our neighbor’s property and disappeared down a steep embankment toward cliffs by the water. I ran after her, yelling useless commands at the top of my voice. Piper eventually trotted back unhurt and followed me back onto our property, where we encountered Sachi by the car with a smug smile on her face. Magical, right?
This begs the question: would I trade one for the other? Do I really want chaos or cost instead of complete optimization? Not in a million years. Sachi’s approach to planning smooths rough seas on a day-to-day basis. For every instance of optimization that I notice, there are three that happened behind the scenes. These are things like placing a new roll of toilet paper on the back of the toilet when the roll is about to run out or keeping our bottles full of water in the car.
Once it became clear that we were probably moving, planning went into overdrive and honestly, she was happier than I’d seen her in a long time. There were a million things that could be planned and optimized and organized and strategized. You’ve never seen an adult so happy about bubble wrap and cardboard that’s designed for packing plates.