by Caren Crane
I noticed something recently: I plan an awful lot. I plan things days, weeks and months away with enviable precision.
Right now, I already have hotel reservations, train tickets and a Metro schedule for the RWA conference in Washington, D.C. in July. It's more than 5 months away and already I'm stressing over what time I should leave my house to get to the train station. It's crazy!
I do this sort of thing often. My Girl Scout troop is planning a big, annual area-wide event for April. We have been working on it since October. So far, we still have no idea how many people are coming, so we can't do crucial things like order supplies or buy food. It's only a little more than two months away, so even though things are well underway, I am starting to have heart palpitations.
I know people who can go with the flow and simply let whatever happens happen. I have been that sort of person on occasion. Sometimes, in a moment of pure Zen, I can push aside last-minute concerns and let things simply occur, unplanned and unexpected though they may be. That's usually when it's too late to do anything about it anyway and I realize that any sort of stress is unproductive. But I prefer to do so much planning that the unanticipated does not have a chance to sneak up on me.
It occurs to me, though, that while I'm spending all this time planning, things are happening in real time that I may be missing. Sometimes it's things I don't mind missing, like conference calls and (yawn) meetings. Other times, though, it's things like watching a DVD with my family or going for a much-needed walk.
I haven't managed to convince myself that all the planning and anticipating if, whats and wherefores is not necessary. No matter what I may miss in "now time", I cannot give up my penchant for planning. I'm hoping someday to strike a lovely balance between planning and letting it be. A conscious balance. Like this meditating chick with the laptop, I guess. Not sure quite how I'll accomplish that, because I haven't managed it yet!
What about you? Are you a planner or do you let whatever happens happen? Or are you like me? Hyper-plan what you can, then let the rest fall into place as best it may? And most importantly, PLEASE let me know what your tricks are for stopping the obsessive/compulsive Google searches!