I planned to be perfect
For most of my years, my plan was to be flawless.
From an early age, that was my goal.
Regardless of the event or purpose.
To be pristine.
While I was in school, I grew very accustomed to planning life.
Whether it be around my job or my athletics, I planned very well.
That carried over into my married life as well.
Once our family grew to include 3 sons under the age of six, I devised a system to help me organize everything.
Each person in the family was given a color and each activity for that person was highlighted in that color.
It was awesome.
I still use this system today even though our boys are now grown.
Looking ahead, I could see where conflicts would arise and would navigate solutions to make it all work.
But there was a down side.
The calendar could only help me so much.
Knowing ahead of time had its benefits, but I was sure to miss a thing or two.
Looking ahead sometimes backfired
My days were only as good as the information I had at the time.
Wanting to have everything decided upon before we got started was something I yearned for and it allowed me to keep the chaos from seeping in.
We could plan to be out of town for a baseball tournament all weekend and it would get cancelled due to weather.
Lack of communication from others was sure to break up my pattern of moving through each day with confidence.
I’ll admit…I didn’t always handle those situations well.
Planners are not one for spontaneity.
What do you mean a game has been added to the calendar?
That just messed up everything else I had planned for that day!
But the list of things to do kept me in one mode…DOING.
I let these endless tasks decide what I did next, leaving me with one HUGE mistake.
I was missing out on being PRESENT.
Even when I was taking pictures of the boys, I was already thinking about how to scrapbook them into an eternal place of cherished treasures.
Being absent from the moment itself.
Busy-ness is an excuse
Doing what I thought I needed to keep from going insane, I wanted everything prearranged.
I kept busy with my kids’ schedules, trying to navigate work with the house while paying the bills and keeping up with the bills.
Looking back at those pictures, I now see the moments, I missed.
How running from one event to the other in the same day, never stopping to soak up what would soon be over.
Life keeps us busy, doesn’t it?
Too often, we don’t appreciate the moment while we are in the middle of it.
So when people ask us, “How are you doing?” it is very easy to say, “I’m busy.”
Do we use that “busy-ness” as an excuse to not be still?
Afraid to stop for just a moment to be present?
“Present over Perfect”
In some ways, my life has slowed.
In others, it is busier than ever.
A friend suggested a book to read that might help me be more mindful of the choices I make every day.
How I can decide what matters most.
When I need to stop completely or just slow down for a bit so that I can gain my footing again.
Although I have tried to live up to my “Wonder Woman” persona and every perfect attribute of who she is and what she represents, I have also been reminded to be human.
That I am not an Amazonian Princess.
In addition, I have also been reminded that “even Wonder Woman had the Justice League.”
Because my seeking to be perfect — even for a moment — never comes by my hands alone.
In my wildest of ways, I thought I could control and plan for whatever life has to offer and putting it on the calendar would allow me to see it and work with it.
Life doesn’t ask us to be perfect.
It doesn’t even ask us to do everything we think we need to do.
It merely asks us to live.
To be focused on this moment. To hold it close so that it might be remembered tomorrow.
To share our messy, crazy, out-of-our mind times so that others will know they are not alone.
Plan all you want
Go ahead…get your planner out.
Write in your special pens and highlighters.
Mark up every piece of paper or use your Google Calendar.
Whatever way works for you.
Get it all done.
But remember this…
Life isn’t written down on your calendar.
It is not a part of your to-do list.
There are special moments when life begs for you to be a witness to something extraordinary and little things will be the ones you will miss someday.
When God chooses to “wink” at you with someone you never saw coming.
When life doesn’t just knock on your door — it announces itself in the loudest of ways.
For it is not in the planning of life’s events that makes them special…it is being a part of them that does.
Throw your hands up on the days where there is no script and just love the ride.
Because life is a part of us, just as we are a part of it.
And the most perfect of moments will never be something we planned.
Michelle A. Homme 2018 ©