Have you ever noticed that when someone uses the phrase “worst case scenario,” they really mean the “second-best-case scenario”? (Me neither–a friend pointed this out to me, but I’m running with it).
For example, if I’m worried about running into traffic on my way home, I may tell my husband, “worst case scenario, I’ll be 10 minutes late.” Well, really, driving on the way home, I could be slowed because people are gawking at an accident, I could run out of gas, or a tornado could touch down between me and the house. These are all worse than the “worst case scenario” stated above, right?
Or it’s like when you take an exam you think you aced, you say “worst case scenario, I’ll get a B+.” Really? That’s the worst case scenario you can think of? You could have bubbled the answer to number 2 in the number 1 slot and been off by 1 for the whole test, your teacher could lose your test and you have to re-take it, or you could get accused of cheating and be kicked out of school because someone cheated off of you, and these aren’t really even the worst right? Getting that B+ is much more likely to be the second best thing that could happen.
“How is this relevant to anything other than day-to-day tasks?” you may ask.
The other day I was thinking about my “worst case scenario” for retirement. In order to retire from my current position, I need to have 30 years of service. Although I’ve only been in my current position at my current employer 13 ½ years, I have 17 ½ years of service under my state’s retirement system because of my previous employment—woot!
To make sure my years of service were correct, I contacted the retirement company. The customer service rep told me that my current retirement date is 12/1/2028, which is only 12 ½ years away. Plus, if I save enough unused sick time, which I am pretty sure I can do, my retirement date would be 12/1/2027, which is 11 ½ years from now. Given that I’ll be 53 by then, it doesn’t look too bad.
To me, things could be a lot worse—it could have been that my previous teaching experienced was not included and I’d have to tack 4 years on, it could have been that I had to be 60 to retire, it could have been a million things, but those things did not happen, and that’s awesome, which is why instead of being “worst case” it’s my “second-best-case scenario.”
What is the best-case scenario then? That is up to me to continue to dream up, and dream I will, and I’ll write about it, so stay tuned!
Do you have a best case scenario for retirement or something else you’re looking forward to? What is your second best case scenario? What’s your ideal? What is your current plan?
Peace out (and in),
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