It’s Okay to Be Comfortable, But You Still Need a Backup Plan

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a nice start.

There are lots of things we take for granted. Your parents love you. That’s a big one. When you strap yourself into an airplane, you’ll arrive safely at your destination. That one involves a little more trust, but odds are it’s a safe bet. And when you flush the toilet, its contents are transported into a medieval abyss, never to be seen again. Unless you use too much paper. Then you’ll do more than just see it.

When you’re in an RV, there’s a way station between the commode and that mythical destination, one that fills up until you step outside and do something about it. And it’s not exactly like the scene from Christmas Vacation where Cousin Eddie is standing at the storm sewer in his bathrobe pumping you-know-what from a gurgling hose. I’m usually in pajamas and slippers.

Too much information? I know. But it’s one of the realities of RV living. The good part is you have another tank, one with a mild concentration of clean soapy water from the showers and sinks that does a really good job of flushing all the nasty stuff from the sewer hose. So, the last thing you see draining through that clear elbow at the end of the hose helps restore your appetite in time for dinner.

How long would it take you to make a list of all the things you take for granted? You know, things you just expect to happen a certain way, a cause and effect that occurs without so much as a second thought. It would be a daunting task and would likely fill an entire book by the time we’re done. And even then, we’d be taking it for granted that there’s nothing else we take for granted. Getting dizzy?

Taking something for granted amounts to nothing more than a leap of faith. If I turn the key, the engine starts. If I pull the ripcord, the parachute opens. And that gauge on the wall that says my RV’s propane tank is empty means it’s almost empty. God, please, let that be what it means. Otherwise, we’re in for a really cold night.

Taking things for granted is pretty much a way of life.  When a student applies for a college loan, they take it for granted they’ll find a job that, over the course of two decades, will pay a little more than the cost of the loan. And the lender takes it for granted they’ll pay the loan back. Talk about a leap of faith!

All our lives we’ve been told to get an education, find a good job, and climb the corporate ladder. And that’s great if you’re into ladders. The problem is most corporate jobs can be done just as well by somebody overseas for a whole lot less money. If you really want job security, become a plumber or learn to work on cars. Sorry, I just report the news. Don’t shoot the messenger.

I’m good at my job. I’ve never had to worry about being replaced because I don’t measure up or haven’t stayed up with emerging technology. Even at my age, employers place a premium on experience versus the potential health issues of age. Still, I know that any day they could come to me and say, “Dave, we’re sending your job offshore. It’s not personal – just business.”

Thanks to modern technology, remote work becomes more feasible and profitable by the day. That’s why I’m able to work from the RV, regardless of where it’s parked. It’s also why finding somebody halfway around the globe who’s willing to work the night shift in their time zone opens a world of opportunity for employers who need to cut costs.

So, while I take it for granted that reliability and doing a good job will keep me in my employer’s good graces, the reality is that I’m only here for as long as it’s profitable to keep me. And most of us, especially if you sit in a cubicle or work from home, are in the same boat.

So, what’s a person to do? Well, let me answer that with a question. Do you keep a spare tire in your car? Do you have a few dollars set aside for an emergency? Do you keep a few extra light bulbs in the house? Does your pantry have food you don’t plan to eat today? I could make some kind of profound statement here, but I think you get where this is headed.

Never before in our lifetime has it been more important to have a Plan B. Yes, rely on what you’ve built to this point in life and make the most of it. But realize that, in a moment, everything can change, and you may have to find a completely new way of getting things done. The sooner you find that something new and get started on it, even if it’s just on the side, the better you’ll be in the long run.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved