I am a planner. Even more surprising in this day and age . . . I use a paper Franklin planner. I have had this leather planner since 2000. Isn’t that incredible? I wonder how many thousands of times that thing has been zipped and unzipped. Other than one spot where I spilled white-out on it (another outdated tool that I still use), it looks new.
I have tried electronic planners. I’ve lost data when they have failed. Unless I lose or forget my planner, I know it’s going to work the way it’s supposed to.
I write just about everything down. I do also use my Outlook calendar at work – but it’s more of a back up for the times that I accidentally leave my Franklin at home.
I’m not saying I never forget about a meeting or show up more than a few minutes late, but it is rare.
I am an individual who is prone to anxiety, and it could be argued that planning and wanting to control everything are some of the negative traits associated with those tendencies. While I’m not sure you can ever fully eliminate all of the inclinations associated with an anxious personality, I truly feel I have largely overcome my anxiety. I actually enjoy planning. Weird, huh?
I like work projects that require coordinating people and events and making the pieces fit together. We have a trip coming up, and for me, nearly half of the fun is planning the route and where to stay and what we’ll do. But, we don’t like to plan to be somewhere at 7:00 AM. I even include relaxation time in the plan.
It’s probably no surprise to you then, that I see planning ahead as a virtue. However, I know there are some negatives. My tendency to plan (some may say over-plan) can be annoying to others – especially non-planners. Thankfully, I married someone who has the same philosophy about traveling that I do. The flight, the rental car, the hotels, all booked in advance. The outings can be more flexible.
Speaking of flexibility – that’s the other downfall. I don’t like unknowns hanging over my head. I don’t like working around other people – especially if they are not planners! These people drive me insane! Why do I allow other people to have this power over me? I try not to – but it is a problem!
I feel myself getting a little tense thinking about it. Deep breath. Reminder – God puts people, whom we may find difficult, into our lives, to refine us. If everyone was like I, I wouldn’t have experienced some unplanned adventures, that frankly created some of the best memories of my life.
While I appreciate the positives about spontaneity, I don’t beat myself up over my desire to plan things out. It makes me reliable – someone others can count on. I like that. My husband has expressed appreciation in my ability to map out the details or of our road trips, and that makes me feel good. Also, I don’t see it as a burden. As I said, I enjoy it.
But, as we all know, we can’t plan everything. I try more and more to leave a little time free, in case we need to pull over and see the world’s largest frying pan.