This last week we took a camping trip to Tony Grove Lake. It is a fantastic and beautiful place to camp and the wildflowers stretched forever.
It wasn't all sweet smells and laughs. Before the trip I made the decision to take my two boys fishing for the first time. We borrowed some fishing poles and supplies. Once at our campsite we spent a hour putting the poles together and getting the "right" lures on the poles. We were finally ready.
I loaded everyone up and we started the ten minute hike to the lake from our campsite. Time invested to this point was well over two hours, I was hoping we were going to have a good time.
Fate had other experiences. First cast - went out and in no problems. Second cast - not so much.
Somehow, I later realized, the line was caught under the reel and when we cast, fifty feet of line came out in one big bunch. It looked like trapped hair in the drain, a mess.
I sat down to untangle the line and that is when the boys lost interest. They were off tossing rocks in the lake. By the time I got the line untangled and ready to go again both boys had fallen in the lake and were soaked. Head to toe, dripping wet. Then the wind started.
It whipped up out of nowhere and then the shivering and crying began. I hurriedly packed them up and headed back to camp. After getting them back and in dry clothes everyone was just fine and I could finally sit down.
Total time "fishing" less than ten minutes. Total time preparing for those ten minutes was well over three hours.
As I thought about this experience it lined up with most other things in life. Preparation where most of our time is spent. Olympians spend years preparing for minutes or seconds of performance. The same applies to retirement and financial planning.
Most of the work is done in the planning and little day to day actions.
The unexpected will always show up, but having a backups as part of your plan will save you when the wind starts to kick up.
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