A moment of clarity for a chronic planner.
Stress is the devil himself. Of this, I am completely convinced. Last night, my computer had a meltdown, which quickly turned into me having a melt down and melting anything that got in my way. I think you get the idea.
My mind quickly began reeling through my to-do list. Photo-shoots, design work, weddings, video that needs to be cut, video that needs to be toned, emails to answer. My list quickly turned into a topsy-turvy circle dancing around my brain. All I could think was, "No. This is not happening right now. This isn't an option." These are the kind of moments where I get smacked in the face with a good dose of self-revelation.
I like to plan things.
I like to write out scenarios of all the ways things can go. I like being prepared. Being caught off guard is one of my deepest fears. As long as I feel prepared, I feel invincible.
But then that dose of reality hits. There are things you can't plan. Even better, there are things you shouldn't try to plan. There are things that you almost always bet will go terribly wrong if you try to plan them.
Let me establish one thing before I jump back on my soap-box. I am not saying its best to willy-nilly through life and expect everything to turn out perfectly. I am however saying that its illogical, unprofitable and ill-advised to grab the reins on a situation when you know nothing about riding horses.
Indeed there are things one cannot plan. (AKA, saying it will snow in Mississippi. Predict all you want and at best you'll be right only every once and a while)
So why do we continue to plan things that we logically know are incapable of being planned?
For me, I think its security. My actions often say that I would rather take my own path even though I know nothing about navigating. Sometimes it seems I would rather steer my own ship into a cliff and at least know I was in control rather than trust that the God who I profess to believe in has my back. I talk about trusting Him and His plans, but my actions often make me a liar.
If this seems pretty hypocritical, well, thats probably because it is. Ha.
The most ironic thing is that the things I cherish most, are things I haven't planned. I didn't ever plan to pick up a camera, and when I did, I sure as heck never would have thought anyone would ever like the photos I took. I never planned to meet the people who have impacted my life the most. I never planned to reconcile friendships that I thought were a lost cause. I never planned to get to wake up every day and create things with the people I care about the most. It happened without my control.
Its a gift - a really beautiful gift.
Want to know a cool thing about gifts? Gifts are planned by someone else. Gift-giving is my love language in terms of how I show love to people. By always grasping and planning the things I "want" to happen, it almost feels like I am telling God I would rather take a gift card to pick my own presents out of fear that He will give me socks or something.
I am really thankful that my mistrusts do not control His (or anyone else's for that matter) character any more than my "plans" have controlled the course of my life.
I had a plan for how I wanted my life to be, and the life I got looks nothing like my blueprints.
Thank heavens it didn't work out.
The road I ended up on is never the road I would have chosen, but its the only road I would take if I could do everything again.
Sometimes I act like a master builder with perfect blueprints on this life things when in reality, I am just a kid making forts in my backyard.
The worst part about being a chronic planner is how derailing one minor change can be to your entire life. The art of letting go of the things beyond my control is a skill I have yet to master, but its one I need to pursue more and more each day.
With constant planning and need for control comes a lot of frustration, anxiety and disappointment. When plans go awry for the chronic planner, everything goes awry.
That is changing now. Now more than ever, I am so thankful for the people I have been given who aren't scared to tell me that I need to crumple up my cute plans and toss them.
I have a dear friend who likes to remind me (daily) that I need to let go, relax and just let things happen and forget about the little things that bog life down. As he says it,
"There is this bus called the "Ruin your Day" bus, and sometimes I think you like to jump in front of it. I am trying to teach you to just let that bus drive by."
Things are going to happen. I can plan all I want, but there are some things that I will never be able have sovereignty over. There are going to opportunities to jump in front of that bus any given day of the week. Its a whole lot easier to just let it drive by when I let go of my need to always be one step ahead of every moment.
Side tangent -
Even when things go wrong, sitting around and pondering potential ways they could have gone differently doesn't make any sense. The same friend who is trying to get me to stop hopping in front of busses, also told me this,
"There are no what ifs. There are only what nows."
The more I think about it. The more sense it makes. Here's to learning to treasure the moments that can't be planned. Often times they turn out to be the best anyway.
Today, I'm going to start dealing with now instead of if all of the time.
I hope you have a blessed week friends,