020102: Quote #238
Making Plans

Robert Grudin, Time and the Art of Living, p. 43, Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin, 1982.

 Among the many good reasons for making plans is the fact that the future can be enjoyed as fully as the present or the past. But most of what we enjoy, we enjoy specifically. A contemplated week in Paris, pleasant as a generalized concept, becomes much more pleasant when we know that it will include a visit to the Sainte-Chapelle, afternoons at the Louvre and Cluny, a splurge, a stroll on the Ile St. Louis, an evening at the Opera preceded by cocktails at the cafe of the same name and followed by onion soup near the old site of Les Halles, a morning Metro-ride to the Jardin des Plantes or the Vincennes Zoo. In this way the projected days become a delightful union of the real and the ideal; and the future, huge yet as transparent and inconsequential as vacant sky, takes on dozens of meaningful shapes. People suspect that planning will shackle them; but, with moderation, this is almost never the case. If you make plans, you may always diverge from them—committing what is itself a pleasant act of freedom. If you do not make plans, you leave the future an empty field of chance, uselss to the present, forfeit to your own unpredictable moods. You insult time, and it turns away from you a face that could have been full of solace. And you imply to yourself that the two other dimensions of time, past and present, mean less to you than they might or should.

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