Merriam-Webster defines forethought as: “1 : a thinking or planning out in advance 2 : consideration for the future”.
One of my favorite things to do is plan. Ask my boyfriend, Mr. We-don’t-need-a-reservation. I plan events at work, thinking through every detail about traffic flow, announcements, seating arrangements, and clean-up. And I love to plan vacations, although I now have to reign it in a bit, coming up with “possibilities” for us to do (and calendaring them all, just so we know where and when we could do them. If we wanted…).
It doesn’t ALWAYS work out so well, though. I’ve tried that plan for housecleaning, (you know the one) that entails doing a different chore everyday for a month. I like it in principal, but in my house, with one person doing all the cleaning… Let’s just say it got as far as the calendar, and then it was toast.
And what happens when the plan doesn’t work, or you just can’t get to it ahead of time? Consider being on the other end. How many times have I been in a staff meeting, or watched some new program being implemented, and thought, “Well, that could have gone better with a little forethought!” I’ve also been able to look back after a major meltdown and realize that it was ALL MY FAULT, because I didn’t think about what would happen if I forgot the wipes, if the ex bailed on his kid again, or if I got stuck at work .
I’m pointing my finger at myself as I write this: MAYBE, if I don’t have time to put forethought into it, MAYBE I shouldn’t do it. Maybe I need to create some time in my schedule to think about stuff before it happens, so I can envision all outcomes, and be better prepared. And if I can’t find time to do that, maybe I’m too busy, and some things on my agenda need to be delegated, shelved, or deleted.
I know I need to do this more. I know that my son and I can preempt some meltdowns this way.
How about you?