Sometimes I think of really bad ideas. Often they are on accident.
Like once, at camp in the winter, there were 12 of us in a cabin, and so someone was always heading out or in, or in or out, which meant lots of opening and closing of the door, which let all the warm air out and the cold air in. I thought (but luckily didn't say outloud) that we should leave the door shut and go in and out the window instead. Although technically the window is smaller than the door and so in theory it would keep more warm air in, I'm entertained to say that that part didn't occur to me until a few years later; at the time I was just trying to keep the door shut, and my solution was not actually a solution to anything.
Sometimes, I think of other really bad ideas.
Like when the paper shows up on my porch Sunday morning, I could bring it inside, let it warm up a little, and then bite it on the fold just like a giant sandwich to figure out if the texture is as bad on my teeth as I think it would be.
That idea has no redeeming qualities. And, I think my teeth would hate me for it.
Another horrible idea:
Making candied sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows, but using regular potatoes (not sweet) and chocolate mint marshmallows.
I thought of that on purpose, when the goal was to come up with a dreadful recipe made with a few small substitutions.
I have good ideas too though sometimes. Like deciding to use my raise at work in order to fund an unlimited produce budget for the year. I can buy whatever pieces of produce I want and I don't have to haggle with myself over the prices. The irony though is that I think my total grocery bill is the same, it just has more produce in it. I'll happily trade lots of packaged snack foods for whatever kind of apples I feel like this week, some artichokes and grapefruits, snap peas, blackberries, bananas....
Another good idea: the 29-month marathon training plan. It worked perfectly for me, by the time I had to actually go run (walk/jog) the marathon I'd had so long to get used to the idea it wasn't scary (except for the final 3 minutes before the start, then I was nervous, but otherwise, it worked perfectly).
And another good idea: Buy one lemon and make one glass of lemonade. I don't know why we always think lemonade comes in big pitchers, it turns out its really easy to scale down to a one glass serving. And since generally I only want one glass anyway (I like the idea of lemonade a lot better than I like the actual drink), this is perfect.
And there's always the well meaning but not fully executable plans, like shopping locally in an Arctic wasteland (see the previous blog, When Good Goals Go Bad, for details); or the one about the Pillow....
Way back in January when it was -30*F for weeks on end, I thought that I would be nice and get the cats a nice big floor pillow so they didn't have to sit on the cold drafty floor and I could have room to sit on the couch. So I bought a big pretty(ish) pillow and brought it home and took it out of the bag to show them, and they sniffed and stared and hopped on the couch. I decided maybe they weren't sure it was for them (since when do cats care if something is theirs?!), so I sprinkled it with cookies and then picked up each cat and put them on the pillow. They ate the cookies and hopped on the couch. Obviously, they just aren't sure what the pillow is for, so I put on a movie and sat on the pillow on the floor to demonstrate the them that its meant for sitting on.... And so I watched the movie from the comfort of the medium sized dog pillow on the floor, and the cats watched from comfort of the couch. Not quite what I intended, but not a complete bust.
(Pillow update: Two months later the pillow takes up 1/3 of the couch, but they lay on it all the time now. My thinking is that soon I can move it to the floor and they'll already like it so much that they'll lay on it on the floor and I can reclaim the couch.)
Another well-meaning idea: I signed up for an Intro to Mountaineering class because it sounded fun and exciting and like a good way to meet people who also want to play outside. I dropped the class after 2 months, but I don't think it was a complete bust, because I learned a very valuable lesson: I will NEVER voluntarily get up ON A SATURDAY earlier than a coffee stand employee. Never. And if you make me, I will be very sad and potentially pretty cranky. Really it turns out I'm just in it for the scenery, and I know from experience that there is good scenery from only halfway up a mountain, and often times just from the side of the road. Sure, I'm all for a good hike in the summer, I'll go backpacking, I'll go skiing in the winter and snowshoeing can be entertaining, but I have ZERO interest in skiing for a day with a 40pound pack so I can sleep in a tent and hope I can stay warm all night all so I can get up the next day and try and climb my way up some vertical rock face to get to the top of something where the air is thin enough it makes your head hurt before you go back to pack up camp and try and make it home in time for work Monday morning.
Thats just not my style.
But now I know, and I will enjoy my lazy weekend afternoon trips that much more because I know what the alternative is. (Disclaimer, I didn't actually go on any of the trips, I learned enough in the lectures to know it wasn't for me.)
Ummm... where was all of this going?
With the exception of the Really Bad Ideas, like the newspaper and the mint potatoes, its hard to tell which plans are good plans and which are only mediocre plans until you try it.
And my Meodicore Plans (mountaineering and the cat pillow) aren't bad, they just didn't turn out the way I intended, but no harm was done and I potentially learned something from their outcomes. My Great Plans (the marathon and unlimited produce) worked better than I hoped , but not for the reasons I expected.
All of which goes to show, that unless your idea makes your teeth cringe, you might as well try it, because if you knew in advance which plans were going to work well and which ones weren't, I'm sure there wouldn't be a lot worth getting up for each morning.