I have an issue. Well, I have many issues, but seeing as we’re still getting to know each other, I’ll keep the list short… For now.
It’s an issue that annoys me and interferes with every part of my life. I’ve tried denying it, justifying it and ignoring it, but they say the first step to recovery is admission, so, here goes. You ready? (That was rhetorical, I’m assuming you’re ready. If not, pretend I’m pushing you down the slippery slide and you have no choice but to be ready).
I’m a planner. A big, compulsive, plan-ny, planner.
I love the feeling planning brings. It makes me feel like I actually have my life sorted out. For a second, I have control. For a moment, nothing bad can happen. Why? Because it’s not in my plan.
It all started in my childhood, like all good ‘you need therapy’ stories do. As a little girl on holidays I would wake up before the sun had drunk it’s coffee, jump on my parent’s bed and insist on planning our day, from breakfast to bedtime. My family would break my heart with the news we were having a plan-free day. They wanted to head down to the beach and, “see what happens.
See what happens? That was the worst plan ever (this was the type of thing I had to deal with as a child. It was traumatic)!
These days, I’ve learned to go-with-the-flow a little more, however my planner alter ego still pops up, kind of like Sasha Fierce, except less Fierce and more Sheldon Cooper-ish.
Now before you sign me up for an intervention, deciding that I’m totally crazy and incapable of social etiquette, let me clarify that I have learned how to be spontaneous… Sort of.
I love going on adventures, impulsively going Christmas light looking and having impromptu BBQ’s on the beach in summer with my friends. I love it, just as long as my calendar is clear and it doesn’t interfere with any other plans.
Planned spontaneity. It’s totally a thing.
And yet, as I think about some of the most memorable, fun moments I’ve had, most of them weren’t planned. In fact, very few of them were.
Some of the best nights my friends and I shared as teenagers were spontaneous summer nights at my friend Smithy’s house (Smithy is his nickname, his last name is Smith. I know. We’re pretty creative). We would all migrate from the beach to his pool, break out the BBQ and hang out well passed our curfews.
They were nights of fun and freedom. We had nowhere to be other than exactly where we were.
And none of it was planned.
There’s nothing wrong with plans, but when we’re flexible, I think we’ll find God’s plan is better than anything we could come up with. I think God likes to mess up our plans from time-to-time, not to be cruel, but to remind us that He can surprise us with something better.
These days, guess what my favourite plan is? To go down to the beach… And just “see what happens.”