When Nothing Goes As Planned

Well, its late on a Thursday night…and I am still not sure what to write about. So let’s throw on some music…which Pixel has decided will be R. Carlos Nakai. Usually, I prefer to have this type of music on for meditative states, but let’s give it a whirl with writing, shall we?

This evening brought the news of the cancellation of this year’s OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering. This event is a yearly pilgrimage (of sorts) for me. The folks that host this multi-day event are family to me. Family that I do not normally see except online. Many of the attendees, I have come to call Brother and Sister, so you can really understand how special this is to me. And just how much it saddens me that this event is not going to take place. The reasoning is quite sound – many of the attendees fall into the groupings that are most affected by the Corona virus. I’m one of those attendees. So I completely grok the perspective about safety being a primary concern.

So, things have not gone as planned. Over the last seven months, a lot of what I had planned has not gone the way that I had wanted or hoped for. Much of life has felt like it was out of control, spinning in directions I could neither manage or counter. So, what can you do when nothing goes as planned?

Back when I was in the Air Force, stationed at Carswell Air Force Base over in Fort Worth, I worked in the Data Processing Center. My job was to enter the JCL (Job Control Language — the language that the UniSys mainframe understood) statements into the console, and allow the batch jobs it started to run. I was to retrieve and mount the magnetic tape reels when the batch jobs called for these, and to print out the results on the required medium for retrieval by whatever department on base had submitted the jobs. For the most part, everything went exactly as expected. Occasionally, someone would setup a batch job incorrectly, and an error would occur – usually sometime between 10pm and 4am – when the programmers were asleep.

Usually, I would call them and read off the errors to them. A few of them actually trusted me enough to login under their accounts, and makes the changes that they wanted while I was on the phone with them. They would talk me through a few changes, I would make the edits, save the JCL batch job, and then restart the job on the console. This usually saved them from having to drive back into the base, and doing the process themselves.

Was it correct protocol? No, not really. I was being provided their userid and password to do their job. But it kept things running, and got the jobs back in running order in less than a sixth of the time it would have taken in another manner. When things did not go as planned, we improvised what we needed to do to get the job done. This is one thing that you might be able to consider. Improvise and continue to get things finished.

Of course, there are times when improvisation just is not going to work. Take the OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering cancellation, for example. There is nothing I can improvise that will make the situation work. The event is cancelled. I need to accept that fact (though I don’t really want to), and move forward. A short Messenger conversation with Shadow confirmed that this was what I really needed to do. Until next year’s event, I can continue to work on finishing my Ovate Gwers work, and potentially have an initation into the Druid grade. In fact, this is a fairly good plan to have. In moving on, I set a new goal for myself, and strive forward towards what I need to do.

Now, with that out of the way, I need to do one other thing – at least for myself. Process what has happened and realize that while it sucks, its better that the cancellation happened. In this manner, individuals that might be adversely affected by the Corona virus will be far safer than trying to travel to and from the event. Not to mention keeping the spread of things just a touch more under control – even if it is within a smaller group of folks. Yes, be sad about it. That’s only natural, and we should never try to suppress the feelings that we have that are natural. At least in my opinion….

Personally, I believe that there is a lot more #CoronaPanic going on than there should be. But I have no scientific fact to back that up (nor do I care to argue the pros and cons of what I said – its just my opinion folks). I just feel that some rational thought is always the best place to start from. Again, just an opinion.

Remember…when everything goes awry, you can improvise (where possible) or accept conditions and move onwards. Yeah, the sign did say that this was the Rest Area that was coming in five miles. But there was nothing about the building being locked. You can either hold it until the next public restroom comes along….or take a quick dive behind the bush and pee. Trust me, the bush will appreciate it – if you are not too shy to do so. Improvise or accept…the choice is yours. But…we’re all out of tiolet paper…thanks to the #CoronaPanic.

–T /|\

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