Plan ABCD updates for 2021

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Over the holiday weekend, in addition to earning some yardwork blisters, I dove deep into some longer-term life planning questions. The whole Plan ABCD thing that I’ve written about a little before and been practicing for years. After all that’s happened in the last year or so, it was time for revisiting each of these parallel plans.

As a reminder, those are:
  • Plan A = A is for AWESOME!!! This is if everything goes as beautifully as I can imagine. The fates align, my dreams come true, and the best possible outcomes occur. This is my upper bound.
  • Plan B = B is for BAD. This is if everything goes as badly as I believe it probably will. The structural flaws we humans have built into our interactions (governments, economies, technologies, cultures, etc) don’t fail all at once, but given enough time everything we know crumbles because it wasn’t really designed to be sustainable. We live in a finite world with natural laws, and we forgot to design to stay within those bounds.
  • Plan C = C is for CATASTROPHIC. This is Zombie Apocalypse territory, the complete breakdown of social order and human institutions. I don’t believe this will happen, this is simply my lower bound. It is the edge of what I see as possible in my lifetime: solar flare events fry all our electronics, pandemic when wasting disease jumps from deer to humans (the Zombie part), unfriendly alien visitors arrive, WWIII happens, Skynet-level AI forms, asteroid collision, etc. The specific trigger isn’t my focus, as it could come from all sorts of causes that you’d probably rather I didn’t go on about too much ;)
  • Plan D = D is for DEATH. This is the only thing I’m 100% sure will happen. Someday, I will die. I have no idea when or why or how, but that part doesn’t matter so much when my focus is making sure that it happens well. I’d like to ensure that those that I love can continue without me, and that I’m leaving the world as cleanly as possible.

From where I stand today, here on the long tail of the COVID19 pandemic, Plan A needed some serious updating. Plan B comes easy to my dark & creative mind, but I struggled with envisioning Awesome quite a bit. Though it took a day or two to get somewhere productive with it, because everything I’d leaned on in the past no longer made much sense, I still got there and feel much better for it :)

Plan C received some important real-world refinements as well. We didn’t go there in the last year — but by my reckoning we very nearly did a few times, and I learned a lot along the way. Finally, with Plan D I still have some logistical work to do to better align what I had set up with the financial & insurance options now offered to me by my employer. Good stuff, though.

Here are a couple of the notable takeaways to work toward that work across all the ABCD parallel paths (the ultimate goal):
  1. employer-sponsored Master’s of Science degree
  2. conversational Spanish & magazine-level reading comprehension
  3. write and publish L&D book
  4. personal health optimization
  5. excess stuff sold off

These are some of the things for which there is no downside that I can find. No matter what happens (including zombie apocalypse), it helps to know how to speak Spanish, to have expressed myself in the field of my wok, and to be in good shape.

Only by going through this process did I get to the end. The things that work across every scenario, even if I got hit by a bus tomorrow or won the lottery. Not that I play the lottery or live in a place with buses, but you get my point.

Does any of this logic help you in any way? I’d love to know, either way. Comment it up here, peeples!

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