You Can't Bash Script Real Life

I had an epiphany this weekend. I was on my way to see a movie with some friends and had a 30 minutes so my brain began processing the week. My thoughts quickly went to one of my friends. We had some hard conversations that week and I was thinking about the next time we’d see each other. I thought through what I wanted to say and anticipated their reactions. I worked through various scenarios and looked at the probable outcomes.

Then it hit me. I was trying to script my life the way I script my work. With my job, I have to think through all the possible outcomes of a function based on the input given. If I get malformed data I’m not anticipating, then the script fails. Other times, the script may not fail, it just doesn’t give the results I was looking for.

For the past few weeks, I had been trying to script my interactions. I didn’t want to be unprepared. I was working overtime on new scripts.  During a previous discussion, I had encountered an exception and didn’t have a test for it. So I did what my work scripts would have done. I stood there, my mouth agape, not knowing what to say. Since that time, I had been subconsciously iterating my scripts for future interactions. I didn’t want to get caught flat-footed again.

The bigger realization I had during that drive was you can’t script real-life.

  • First, there are always going to be exceptions that you can’t plan for.

  • Second, scripting life is tiring. I was wearing myself out mentally and physically trying to account for all contingencies.

  • Third, life isn’t nearly as fun when it’s scripted. I did not particularly enjoy the hard conversations but looking back on the week, I wouldn’t change it. I learned a lot about myself and I think I’ve grown emotionally.

So what parts of your life have you tried scripting? Have you had any success?