THE PERILS OF PLANNING

I am a planner. It comes naturally to me. I had my life mapped out when I was 14 and I haven’t looked back.

My tendency to plan permeates every area of my life. From knowing where we are going on holiday to working out what is for tea it is all there in my mind somewhere. I plan everything. How to cook the tea and use the fewest number of utensils to minimize the washing up. Which route to take round town so that all tasks are achieved in the shortest possible time. Folding the underwear as it comes off the line so that it sits in the washing basket, furthest bedroom at the bottom closest at the top. I do it all.

But I do wonder how life might be if I didn’t spend every waking moment thinking ahead. What would happen if I walked into town and visited shops randomly as the mood took me? What if I followed a recipe and used a clean bowl every time it told me to instead of reading ahead to see what could double up? I know that people work like that. I live with people that work like that and they seem perfectly normal ( although the unnecessary washing up thing does irritate me.)

That said, there are distinct disadvantages to knowing exactly where you are going and what you will do next. There’s very little room in my world for spontaneity. I rarely do something on a whim and that’s a shame because some of life’s best bits happen by accident.

It also means that I am easily wobbled. This week I have a lot of achieve and I will be away from home for two days. There deadlines that are imposed on me, like the things the children have to do and a cake order that I have to complete. Then there are the things that I impose on myself. Generally, the world will not end if these things are not achieved. In fact it’s unlikely that anyone but me will notice. But I have to bake and blog and write and prepare for my course and make sure there is available time if I get sent some work and clean and shop and cook.

And because I’m a planner and can see how long all these things will take I start to panic. I can feel it slowly rising in me today. None of this stuff is really important. If I didn’t get to most of it no one would notice. But it is important to me. It’s in my plan and it has to be achieved as efficiently as possible in order to preserve my fragile sense of self worth.

Sometimes, I think that I would like to live without the pressure that I put myself under by having plans in my head the whole time. But I can’t. That’s just the way I am. So I shall work my way down the plan for today as calmly as I can before starting on the plan for tomorrow. Because that’s the plan!

What do you think? I'd love to know...