Having been raised by retired teachers, “planning” is something my parents did well. Their very written out expectations of the coming weeks, full of lessons and tests for their middle and high school students taught me something as well…a lesson that became a part of my makeup and a way of life for me. It took me years to understand the effect it had on me.
I had become a planner.
With a need to have control over what was going to happen next in my life, I became stringent in my quest to anticipate every chapter in life. My needing to know the outline of upcoming events was imperative to my willing to deal with them. Quite frankly, I didn’t bend.
When situations arose out of my control (sometimes within the control of others), I grew impatient and flustered. I would often tell people “this isn’t what I wanted.”
I craved the oversight in life that I had dictated and found it extremely difficult to be spontaneous or carefree.
The design I had created and desired was the blueprint I would follow and seek. No questions asked. No exceptions.
This past weekend, my husband and I took a mini vacation out of state. I was a little out of my element for one reason…I didn’t plan the itinerary. Other than knowing where we were staying each night, I had not made a single plan about the things we would do throughout the day. My husband had asked me if I wanted to know what the plans were for each day and without a moment’s hesitation, I said, “No…surprise me.”
That’s right. I went into an entire 4 day vacation with the most minimal of plans and loved every single minute of it.
Every day, I allowed myself to be excited about the day’s adventure that would soon be shared with me.
We twisted our way through the forest and found ourselves on the rolling hills of the plains. Our journey was not shy in sharing its appreciation for the wonders it had in store for us.
What I loved most about this trip wasn’t the lack of planning I had to do, but the joy I found in not knowing what was going to happen next.
I had no agenda. No set schedule.
It was perfect.
Along with superb weather, I could not have asked for a better way to spend a few days away with my husband.
It’s far too easy to try to plan everything — to have this endless “to-do” list that dictates every second of every day. Then, when things do not go according to plan (which sometimes happens too), we can find it very difficult to adjust the plans, let alone change them all together.
I thought I needed to plan life, believing that it would help me control it. Yet no one ever feels alive when we schedule and program our lives. We might as well be robots at that point.
I cannot control as much as I once thought and learning to “go with the flow” and to be a little spontaneous from time to time is one thing a plan never is…a lot more fun.
Michelle A. Homme 2016 ©