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A snowy welcome to 2023

Time just seems to be just flying by. Soon I will have eclipsed 62 years on this planet. Of late I have focused on the end of my second act and the start of my third act. Wondering what come’s next? Wondering when I start that next act of my life. I believe that I have much left to explore, to accomplish, to act upon and comment on.

I find myself up early on a cold Sunday morning in January, trying to decide what to do today as I finish off that second cup of coffee. A month has flown by already, and this represents my first post for the new year. The getting up early is normal, regardless of the day of the week. The list of things that I should do is rather long. The list of things that I must do, not so much. Outside it is just 14 degrees, as the sun begins to shine over the mountains. The ground is covered with upwards of four inches on the ground as it has snowed several times this week.

The thought of snow has been on my mind of late. For me, it identifies the season. It cleanses the air, the ground, the surroundings in some unique way. Others might suggest that it tells us about climate change (or not), global warming (or not), or it’s the end of the world as we know it (or not). I’m not planning on writing about that topic today. Save it for some future post. As I get older, the presence of snow keeps me from going out and doing things. It’s just too cold and as I get older, I mind the cold more and more. Clearly, I have a risk aversion to the cold weather. So does Jewel, who goes outside more than I. When there is snow, she does not travel as far in order to do her business. I have a shovel on the deck to clean up after her.

Snow on the ground is an indicator of how risk averse society has become. Many, many years ago, like when I was growing up, delays and cancellations for school or work, were very infrequent. One had to experience several feet before such actions were taken. Now an inch falls and there is a two-hour (or more) delay. Work is suspended for the day, but if you can work from home, please do so. It is hard to manufacture things from your kitchen table if you work requires specialized equipment. Oh, that’s right, as this is America, and we don’t manufacture things anymore.

I think delays are a response to how litigious our society has become. Work was suspended for the day. There was very little snow outside. I went out and drove around the neighborhood. Roads were snow packed and icy. Others were also out and about. A local restaurant was open and staffed for breakfast. I stopped and got something to eat. Small businesses here suffer the most when things like this happen. And with many small businesses going under after COVID, or unable to find enough people, or pay a decent wage because of runaway inflation, I was glad to stop in.

What about those people who are out there to plow the roads? What about those who have to travel long distances, to show up to work, or to school, in order to plow the parking lots, drive the buses, clear the walkways?

I see this aversion to risk everywhere, particularly at work. The fear of making a mistake, the fear of something not going correctly. It’s the fear of well, fear. It adds time and money to accomplishing even the simplest of tasks. We have procedures for everything. And if it is a task previously performed, albeit not very often, we cannot just resurrect the original procedure, we must start with a clean sheet of paper. We no longer value the skill of craft. We no longer value experience. Here’s to the two months of planning for the two-hour job!

All of this pre-planning, followed by planning, followed by replanning, on and on. Less gets accomplished and the cost of doing anything only increases. Obviously having more people review and comment makes the final product better. No, it does not. It only adds to the time to build the product. Yes, the consequences of poor planning can be extensive. But my god man, it isn’t rocket science.

So, as I close, welcome to TheMcKeeSpot for 2023. Hopefully I will write more frequently and hopefully more and more of you will check it out. Stay warm. Stay safe. And hug your kids.

By themckeespot

I have been writing this blog now for several years. I write about topics that pop into my head, often based upon what is happening in my life, or what I read from the internet, books, or magazines. At least a few people stop and read my posts. And while I do not limit myself to a specific subject matter or theme, it is obvious that I just post about things that have transpired since my last post. I will hope that when you read my ramblings that it puts a smile on your face, causes you to contemplate whatever I write about, or makes you think about commenting.

For me, this is a work in progress. I am a baby boomer nearing retirement and a single parent trying to raise two teenage children. Guess that makes me a late bloomer who married, had kids, then got divorced. For the past few years I have been trying to find my bearings and figure out what the next 50+ years has in store for me. Please come along for the ride, and come back often. We will not be making daily trips, but I will try to write when the urge exists or the muses help me out.

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