Best Laid Plans: Etymology
Shortened form of “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”, translated from Scots “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, / Gang aft agley,” from To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough by Robert Burns
All I could do was cry when I backed my car into a snowbank on the side of the driveway. It was so cold I could see a large puff of smoke emerge from my mouth with every wracking sob. A truck drove by and I thought I saw it slowing down. It creaked to a stop at the side of the icey road. A tall thin man in a red flannel stepped out of the cab. I could have worshipped the pavement he stood on.
I was on my way to ship my bike to Tucson. It has to be shipped a full 10 days ahead of my flight in order to arrive in time so that the mechanics in the ship in Tucson can build it up. This was the last possible day I could mail the bike and have it arrive on time. If I didn’t make it to the bike shop today by noon, I’d arrive in Tucson on January 9th without my bike and a bank account without enough money to get a hotel.
Thanks to the trucker, I made it. He tried to push me out as revved the engine in reverse and the wheels spun. Eventually he got tired or frustrated (probably both) and hopped in the driver’s seat while I stood and watched. The car revved the car forward and back in the rut until finally, it zoomed out, the snow moving and piling in new formations in its wake.
I was able to mail the bike and it will arrive to Tucson a day before I do.
I always have some doubt about trips like this actually happening. Last spring I signed up for a marathon in Minnesota, trained for months, ran all around the state, and was struck down by the flu the day my flight was supposed to leave.
Thankfully I feel some good momentum right now. I pay attention to small signs of hope. My friend tells me the stars in the desert are stunning, and I am just able to afford the last of my gear purchases.
I’m writing this because I feel like explorers and adventurers always document their journey but they never talk about the messy stuff. Like what motivates them to actually go, and what kinds of dumb mistakes did they make to get them where they are. I’ve cried so many times over the past few weeks because planning is not my strong suit. I struggle to think ahead, to trust my own decisions, and to do things alone. The trip involves a lot of all three of those things, and so I at this point, I am tired. An adventure is not all glamour and conquest.
The question remains: what is it and what is it all for?
The trip is for some of these things and probably others that my body knows but which I can’t put into words:
self-discovery, healing, reclaiming power, joy, misery, experiencing the upside-down, seeing some cacti and some sunny sunsets.
I’ll keep you updated on preparations and key you in for the adventure as it unfolds.
8 days till take-off!
See how it all goes in the next post pre-departure.