Sunday, 21 December 2014

Last Posting Date

Here's something else I struggle with: thinking things through in advance.

This usually manifests in a boringly normal way; I am late for most things. Routine things are okay now, like work. I got fed up of arriving sweaty and panicked or worrying I was going to lose my job constantly and decided to try and fix that and it works okay for the most part. It's routine, it makes sense. I may occasionally run for the train and suspect it may all fall apart if I ever learn to drive, but hey.

The event that inspired me to write this post was realising, at almost 2 am, that it is now four days before Christmas and hence too late to post any parcels back home. I had sort of vaguely mentioned this to my husband this morning in a sort of "Oh, weren't we going to do that?" manner. He said no.

So how does this happen? Presumably I had some kind of idea that I wanted to send a box of stuff home. So how does it get to this point where I'm suddenly realising it's too late? This is what I've deduced happens. I'm milling around quite happily, living my life, vaguely thinking about sending a box of stuff for Christmas, but Christmas is months away. Don't need to think about that yet! And then suddenly the day draws close. I think about sending a box for more than a few seconds and realise that I needed to:
1. Get an idea of what kind of thing I wanted to buy, either by going and looking around shops or by speaking to the intended recipient.
2. Actually buy the stuff. Could possibly be combined with 1.
3. Buy or find an envelope and/or box of the appropriate size.
4. Pack the items rather than letting them sit in the house for weeks.
5. Post them in time for the appropriate date.

This all seems a little overwhelming when I realise it hopelessly too late. I should have thought about thus earlier, then I'd have time. The steps I'm missing are these two.
1. Work out what all of those steps in the first list actually are.
2. Working backwards from the last posting date, work out how much time (realistically) each step needs and hence when it needs to be started/finished by.

Fine, you think. Now it's all sorted. Except no, because it doesn't matter how long or short this list of tasks and allocated time is, the fact is that I needed to do that second list (the thinking in advance part) in advance. To even conceive the first list I need to do the second and to conceive the second list, I need to do... the second. Great. Thanks, brain! I assume that other people do these things semi-automatically, but somehow when they made my neural circuits that part got short-circuited, leaving me standing there on 20th December feeling crappy that I haven't sent a Christmas parcel to my folks. Well, thank god for internet shopping!

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