Following on my August 7 entry (don’t sabotage the trip before reaching your destination), I think we need to embrace and find beauty in logistics.
We are all victims of the planning fallacy. We all underestimate the time we will need to complete our own tasks, even when we’ve already underestimated the very same task in the past. And it’s funny that when outside observers predict task completion times, they overestimate the time needed!
I find this very irritating (even though I just used the word ‘funny’). I see the planning fallacy so clearly when my wife plans trips, outings, routine errands. I tell her that she’s too ambitious with our weekend plans, but we go after them nonetheless. The results are highly predictable: we end up meeting somewhere in between, doing more things than I thought possible, but less than what she set out to do.
And it’s also frustrating when it comes to my own planning. For example, Disneyland.
We went to Disneyland on Tuesday. First visit as a family. It was a very nice trip and Kai, even though he’s only one year old, he enjoyed the park, the energy, the people-watching, and the rides.
We left on Tuesday around 6:30am and came back the next day at noon.
Of the 30-hour trip, I estimate that we spent no more than four hours in the park.
But it was worth it.
sandwiched between logistics
Those four hours were sandwiched between logistics and then some more logistics in the middle too.
We had to think about what to pack, then pack our stuff, then load the packs in the Jeep, then think again about missing items.
We thought we were going to leave at 5:30am, but left an hour later. We had finished packing and loading 90% the night before, but that last 10% takes time. Then our cat Luna escaped and we had to chase her until she finally decided to come in… then she escaped again.
She is street smart so we ended up leaving while she was who knows where.
Drive in traffic, make stops for coffee and other breaks. Arrive in Disneyland, find parking, park.
Decide what to bring to the park (stroller, backpack, snacks, what goes inside the backpack?). Walk to the pick up station, hop on the tram to get to the park entrance.
You get the picture. A long sequence of time-consuming logistical steps needed to then spend only a fraction of time doing the “fun thing”.
find beauty in logistics
If I continue seeing all these logistical activities as chores devoid of beauty, I will end up a bitter man.
There must be a way to assign at least some of the fun to the logistical side of things. There’s got to be a way.
We’re taking Kai on his first camping trip next weekend to the Santa Monica Mountains, and later in the month we’re traveling to Austin.
Two opportunities to put in practice the platonic ideal of this post.