Time to drop Plan B for a Plan C

When Plan B reveals unforeseen and life-threatening hazards, it’s time for a Plan C.

When Plan B reveals unforeseen and life-threatening hazards, it’s time for a Plan C.

Published Jun 15, 2024


Durban — June is a very contemplative month on the couch.

It’s a run of family birthdays, two people gone and three remaining. Nearly three gone and two remaining.

Dad was on June 7, mine yesterday, Mom’s tomorrow, son’s on the 21st and “twin” cousin hours later on the 22nd.

Reflecting on some of Mom and Dad’s quirks and weird advice gave me someone to blame for a near-death disaster on the couch.

The lesson was from Mom many decades ago: “If you want something done properly, give it to a lazy person.”

That seemed, at the time, very strange, coming from her. She never, ever did nothing, always cleaning, cooking, washing, polishing floors, rearranging the furniture, supervising homework, organising her four kids’ (three plus Dad) lives, and keeping them from ripping each others’ throats out in frequent loud and dramatic rows. The only time she put her feet up was when she had a good book. She was a damn marvel, actually.

But last week I blamed her for nearly killing me posthumously. Her and that lazy advice which, when I finally understood it, I embraced whole-heartedly.

Even lazy people can be results-driven, but it takes analysing the task/s, planning and organisation to achieve them. The first question when faced with a chore is how can I do this? What is the quickest, least time- and effort-wasting way of accomplishing this without failing and/or having to do it again?

The lazy person has options. Two of the most effective are making and keeping track of lists and having many Plan Bs in place to be swiftly activated if things go south.

I have more Plan Bs than a library of self-help books.

The list lays out what needs to be done. As each is recorded, background mental gymnastics figure out ways to do them, sorting them into Plan As and what-if Plan Bs. It’s become a way of life.

But nearly a way of death too. I don’t really know if that’s hyperbole, because I missed most of it.

When you have a pharmaceutical overload, it’s vital that you keep all your pills in a row. Many years ago, I did the Plan A/B thing with them.

Fifteen pills in the morning, a half at midday and four plus two halves at night was a challenge. If they were doled out for every dose, it took about 10 minutes a time and was a proper pain in the butt. So the lazy person devised a Plan B.

Once a month when the drug dealer arrived with the large stash, two hours were cleared to pack a month’s supply in individual pill bottles clearly marked AM and PM. If you’re very careful at this stage, you don’t have to pay any more attention and can just slug ’em back daily for the next 30 days. So full attention was given to this dispensing activity and it worked for years.

Now I have to devise a Plan C because the one thing I didn’t consider was: what if for some reason your morning routine is disrupted and you forget you’ve taken the AM bottle and swallow a second one?

It happened on a Saturday (not a work day, thankfully) and I lost the whole day and probably half a kidney. It would have been terrifying if I had not been unconscious.

That Monday, I called the pharmacy to place the order for the next month’s supply and was told I had done it on Saturday. I also didn’t remember I had ordered some extra things, which I embarrassingly discovered when I called them to ask if I could keep them because, strangely serendipitously, I could really use them. Which was obviously why I asked for them.

Until I figure out an effective Plan C, we’re back to twice daily doling.

Much more contemplating for the couch.

Independent on Saturday

Related Topics: