I have always been a planner. I am good at it, too. I enjoy organzing chaos, meeting deadlines and fulfilling my schedule.
Where plans make sense
At school, I have a weekly plan for each class, and an overall goal what to have taught by the end of the month. My exams are scheduled long in advance for me to be able to prepare my stundents well. Being me, I have backup plans for lessons in case something does not work out. I love working with to-do-lists and crossing off items I have completed. 😀 Makes me smile, and I feel that I have achieved something.
My planner self also is present at home. 😝Our dinners are planned, we decide before the week what we are eating each day and usually go grocery shopping in advance. This takes my mind off things, we neither need to daily discuss what to eat nor do we have to run to the supermarket last minute. It saves time and energy and I love looking forward to cool dishes we can prepare together.😍
Over-planning much? Absolutely!
However, my excessive planning started to dictate huge areas of my private life, too; even my days off had to-do lists and time frames (“the laundry needs to be done by lunchtime”), as did my freetime. 😒It went so far that I sometimes felt bad when I had a day off and did not do absolutely anything, when I had no plan. Conseqently, I started to question if maybe I could trust life more and plan less…?
Thus, this last year I have tried to modify my way of thinking. I have come to realize that having a plan gives me a sense of control, but hardly gives me happiness in my private life. Yes, it is necassary for my job, and it saves time and energy regarding dinner, but on my days off?🙄
Life without plans – partly successful
I enjoy being timeless. I love waking up whenever and spontaneously decide if it is lunch or breakfast I like to eat. I like picking a book from my nightstand and immersing myself in it without feeling guilty that the laundry is not done by lunchtime. Moreover it makes me happy to bingewatch a series until 2am and cuddle with my tiger cat meanwhile. I have gradually learned to let go and stopped planning. In the holidays I can now live my spontaneous life quite well, and on my days off I am actually more relaxed than ever. Check. ✔Laid-back me in my free time. 😍
Regarding my life plan. Well. Here it is harder for me to see the present, and dream of the future but not overplan it. Yet I am trying. A part of me would like to schedule a marriage proposal, next Christmas with our families, a wedding, my possible transfer to a different school, our first and second pregnancy and all that goes along with kids, and the day we build a house. 😅 A part of me would like to make these plans and stick to them precisely, no matter what. Believe me, I know how ridiculous this sounds.
Whenever I feel like my head is exploding with the need to plan, I have learned to see this as fear. Fear none of my dreams will come true. Fear I can not get what I want. Fear I can not control my life. The Corona-crisis has further worsened this fear, as I have often felt helpless regarding all the regulations imposed on me. I do not like fear. Who does?
And honestly? For a long time I could not stop myself from over-planning my future. The fear was very dominant. The more I tried to relax and just let things develop, the less I felt relaxed. ☹Pushing this did not work. Since I have seen a new coach in September, I have tried a different approach she suggested. I am trusting life.💓
Ridiculous, I thought at first. Trusting life. Trusting me. My choices. Trusting the man I love. Trusting my life. As if it made any difference…
It actually does. Whenever I feel fear and the urge to over-plan, I try to visualize all the good things that have happened to me so far. 💓 I close my eyes and try to see all the good. Everything that has brought me here, now, today – from my childhood vacation in Italy that made me love the Italian language I later studied, to my unemployment in Germany that lead me to accepting a job in Vorarlberg, where I fell in love with the country and the people first, and found myself later… to dancing and one snowy Sunday looking and falling into the eyes of my dance partner. And I have been falling ever since. 💕
When I see all this, and realize how full of love my life is, and how full my heart is, I feel gratitude and trusting life suddenly does not seem ridiculous at all.
P.S.: I wish you an epiphany like this at the end of this challenging year, too. It frees me and makes me smile. 🙂