In life and running, you must have a plan: a clear-cut guide to exactly how you will get where you are going, exactly how long it will take, and exactly how you will know when you have arrived.

You must hold this plan firmly in your mind at all times before you start to implement it. You must be firmly convinced you will not waver from it, no matter what happens between now and the start of your plan. You must do this because you are a Responsible Adult who has Big Responsibilities and you have not gotten to be this kind of person by being a Lollygagging Cakesniffer.

Cakesniffer

Then, as soon as you start to implement your plan, you must blow it all to hell.

You must do this because that is really what being a Responsible Adult is about. It's not about starting at Neosho, going west to Jamieson, turning south to Willmore Park, running through the park (the path that winds around the pond, not the one that goes by the big old tree, because that one has a hellacaious hill, whereas on the other path all you have to do is dodge duck droppings and angry geese the size of armadillos …), east to Hampton, and north back to Neosho.

No.

Being a Responsible Adult is about standing in front of your house on Neosho after you have developed your brilliant plan, looking west, and thinking, "Forget that. East."

Because you know that as a Responsible Adult, you will be able to handle whatever uprooted chunks of sidewalk, ill-timed traffic signals, or reeking piles of dog doo stand in your way. It's the Lollygagging Cakesniffers who never change course, or their minds, or their hearts.

And if there's one thing you, as a Responsible Adult, do not want to be in life, it's a Lollygagging Cakesniffer.