Life Rule 1

Part of me wanted to do random(life_rules), but then the Dutchman in me kicked in. So I will start at the beginning.

“The good will take care of itself, its the bad you have to plan for. ”

Nothing too original, this is the basic premise of insurance. It is one of those things that people, myself included, often pay lip service to without really following through on. The importance of the follow through has more to do with state of mind than anything. Too many times I have seen manageable problems descend into crises solely because the people involved never entertained the thought that something could go wrong. The act of planning prepares you for the unfortunate. Even if you do not have a fully fleshed out plan, the mere act of anticipating the need is often sufficient to avert a situation from spiraling out of control. An example from my greenhouse days, no matter the amount of preventative maintenance you do, a boiler will choose  3 AM on the coldest night of the year to take a break.  A boiler is the intersection of several systems;  solid state controls, electrical wiring, vent plumbing, water plumbing and gas plumbing. Further, modern boilers are shrines to safety and have more interlocks between these systems than you can imagine. Coming up with a plan that deals with every eventuality is possible but ultimately counter productive.  Too much time spent studying the plan, not enough solving the problem. The key is to have a skeleton troubleshooting scheme either in your mind or on paper, preferably both. To complement this, sufficient tools and materials. I am using an expansive definition of tools to include written matter, such as control schematics. Materials would be common replacement parts i.e. flame sensor,thermocouple, relays,etc.  With the above in hand it is possible to bring a boiler back to life under trying circumstances. Truth compels me to also acknowledge that when ever possible I tried to hedge my bets by having redundant heat sources available.  Nothing like having a couple of unit heaters cranking along to lower the blood pressure a few notches. All part of the planning process. It is easy to get overly pessimistic if you carry this rule to the extreme. As in many things moderation is in order. Where that balance point is,  comes with time in the School of Hard Knocks. Taking a long walk down a country road because you had a flat tire, a spare tire  and no lug wrench is a tremendous learning experience.

2 thoughts on “Life Rule 1

  1. Planning for the worst is a good habit. When cycling, I carry allen keys, spare shifter cable, patch kit, tube, pump, cell phone, and a bit of cash in case I need to catch a bus. When car camping I take a huge amount of water (7 gallons often), a socket set, jumper cables, first aid kit. This philosophy can expand itself further into life, and then that’s when it gets quite difficult. People living with chronic disease live this philosophy in a manner many people will never know, I just recently listened to an episode of HanselMinutes that really made me think.

    Looking forward to future posts, Adrian!

  2. Yeah, the grind of dealing with this on a day in/day out basis is something I can only imagine.

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