Getting married was a hugely eye opening experience for me. Not so much from learning how to live with another human every day, I’d been doing that all my life, more from finding out things about me. Weird, I know. You’d think it was revelations about HIM that would make the whole business upsetting, but he’s actually remarkably tame. It’s me we all need to worry about.
So, here’s the thing about me that I never knew until I got married. I want to be super jovial, go with the flow, happiness is stopping in the middle of your carefully ordered life to smell the roses. I always thought I was like that and then Jason came along. And I’m actually not that easy going. Who knew?
My normal when I’m traveling somewhere is to have a carefully ordered itinerary in mind and charge ahead toward the destinations, plowing over whatever obstacles dare to get in my way. The reason I always thought I was spontaneous and easy going is that I actually mentally plan normal stuff along the way. There is a destination in my brain called “lunch” and “rest stop” and “historical marker”. But don’t add random things in! Now you’re just messing with my mind! Jason’s idea of traveling is … well, enjoying the journey. What? Who even came up with this idea? In my defense though, while It sounds great in theory, when the wedding is six hours away and you’re already running late, I’m not a super fan of stopping at every creek and river from Waco to Lubbock to see how the water’s flowing. This is what I get for marrying a man who kayaked from Maine to Texas. He just can’t pass water without looking at it. Sigh.
I am a planner. I love it! I buy planners, I make my own planners, I make lesson plans that would be the envy of elementary teachers everywhere. It’s truly something to behold. I follow through on about 35% of everything I plan to do. I know. You all want to be just like me when you grow up. By sheer volume though, of all the things I write down, 35% still turns out to be a lot.
These pictures do no justice to how detailed this planner is
If you think I’m uptight when traveling, you should see me at New Years. I start planning my yearly goals a couple of weeks into December. This is when I get a planner, or refills, or here lately I make my own. Those store bought ones just do not have all the things I need. By the time the ball drops on New Year’s Eve night I have categories and subcategories for every one of the months of the upcoming year. It’s May right now. I have no idea where that planner is.
So why am I not president yet, or at least, like, Secretary of State? I mean, it seemed inevitable at the start of January.
Here’s the deal about my plans and my life. Life is like the anti-plan. It is the arch enemy of everything I write down in my carefully organized, personalized, categorized notebook. I actually feel kind of cool though, having an arch enemy. It makes me think I’m a little closer to being like Sherlock. But anyway, back to my point. You just can’t fit your actual life into those little plastic page protector things. Trust me, if it was possible, I would have done it. I love page protectors. One of my favorite quotes ever is by John Lennon who’s song lyrics state “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” My life in a nutshell.
You should have SEEN my plans at the start of this school year. Jack should be doing quantum physics right now. He should speak Spanish fluently and have had a thorough introduction to French and Latin. A compulsive planner should never read “A Well-Trained Mind”. It literally makes us crazy. The other day we learned some stuff about graphing that was pretty fun. And we played with play doh.
I know there are ways around these disruptions, because planning works for some people. My friend Susan (name was changed to protect the potentially embarrassed), has a very orderly life and when she plans to get pregnant at a certain time of year so that it coincides with her teaching schedule, that is what happens. Really, she even gets PREGNANT on a schedule. It’s just wrong. Also, using only the natural birth control known as the “Rhythm Method”. If you’re unfamiliar with birth control, that method is 100% drug and procedure free. It works beautifully if you want to have four kids in four years. My husband and I employed it with pretty much all of our children. And, it could actually work if you’re Susan. So yeah, some people’s plans work out. I’m pretty sure I’m just going to have to learn to deal.
So what do we do about plans that go amiss? Personally, I take lots of deep breaths. I remind myself that there is Someone’s plan that IS working out in my life and I don’t have the whole picture yet. I remind myself that no one’s plans work perfectly, (even Susan’s) and that life is still good anyway. Sometimes I cry too, and yell at people. I forgot to mention that.
But be all this as it may, I’m still going to make New Year’s goal charts and add more tabs and page protectors to my planners. I’m still going to buy more curriculum than I could possibly need in all four of my children’s life times and make more attempts at teaching them dead languages! Some of my plans work out too. I did write and publish a 400 page novel last year. That’s not nothing. Zig Ziglar taught me all growing up (through his tapes, not personally) that you reach 100% of the goals you never set. So … I guess it’s pretty inevitable that if you do set goals, you won’t reach all of them. Still, I get more accomplished when I plan to accomplish something. And then I try super hard not to get too emotionally attached to my checklist. I remind myself to live the life that is happening to me right now. Smiling at my kids and so forth. I write that on my list too sometimes. I know. I need therapy… and chocolate. Oh, and more play doh, if anyone has extra lying around.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”