For years it’s been about “The Plan.” Heaven help us if we gather more than three generations under one roof and don’t revolve that plan around a meal! Who doesn’t relate to that!?
Why do we plan? It gives us a sense of direction. It gives us comfort to know where to start and where to end. Planning makes us feel accomplished. Society tells us to get things done; check off that list.
I am a list maker. I will list to-do’s on the back of receipts, my kids notebooks, even my palm. If I could see my forehead, it would be used too! Listing allows me to cut and paste it somewhere else so I can tell myself I don’t have A.D.D. and keep on with the task at hand. Forgetting something makes me crazy! I won’t be good at getting old; I’m only good at being young.
Back to the plan. I’m learning that having the strictest of plans makes me even crazier. Don’t get me wrong, we can all appreciate having order, structure and a path. I’m talking about the plans that probably shouldn’t have been made. ”Let’s plan to go see your parents two weeks from now” Then something gets in the way and we’ve left those older people disappointed - again! This zaps my energy.
I have a good friend who won’t make a plan. She eventually learned that by staying flexible, the RIGHT plan will develop on it’s own. And often it’s later, not in the traditional planning stages, that this all comes together nicely. This method used to drive me batty! I would think “Why can’t she just join the plan and stick to it? Is she in or out? ”
Over the past three years, I’ve come to not only appreciate her thinking, but adopt her planning style. Without the plan, events and participants roll into place the way they should be. Expectations are not met because there are none. So next time you find yourself making a list of plans, try cracking that window in the car and letting that receipt fly. Loraine Smith, SHE Contributor