Plans. Why do we make them? Reality is indifferent to them anyway. What is the probability that a plan will work out as planned? Well I’m no statistician, but the probability is miniscule.
One need not even look at big life plans to see the inconsistencies that exist amidst planning. Simple everyday plans: some masked as goals, others plotted out on a to-do-list, and yet others that occupy a spot on our timeline sometime in the future as a “sure occurrence” – but most times plans are futile. Planning alone comes with a low guarantee of success, never mind adding the variables that are other people and inconsistent events into the mix.
Why do we fret when they don’t work out? How many of our plans have failed us in the past? Many. Yet somehow we all manage to move past the failed plans and embrace the bigger, better, different, distinct occurrences that propel us past our blueprints and position us in the reality that we find ourselves. Mindlessly stepping over the rubble that was our plans and perfecting our actual present.
I am guilty of so many counts of planning that if a pie chart was set up showing the proportion of my life spent planning to my life spent living, I would be labelled a “planaholic.” If your symptoms include lengthy lists, consuming concern about who and where you will be tomorrow, haphazardly plotting various routes to that nebulous destination known as “success,” semi-permanent worry lines, multiple assurances where friends promise you really are worrying over nothing – YOU just may be guilty of being a “planaholic” too.
Please position your tired ass in the hot seat next to mine. Don’t bristle @ the “tired ass” reference, we both know its a tiresome sport in which we participate, so take a load off. Let’s think of this as musical chairs: The music has stopped, and of course you’ve won yourself a seat! Why? Because you were too busy focusing on how you have to “win, win, win no matter what” that you didn’t even realize they were playing your favourite song. The second the music stopped you shoved all warm blooded obstacles out the way and took your place next to me who was so busy planning I forgot to dance. Now, what have we gained? Perhaps we are well on our way to winning the game, yet we are the ones who have been played. My more free-spirited friend is up dancing and flirting with a gorgeous man I had planned to approach when we found ourselves in the same room (I didn’t notice he was even there), my cousin’s composing a freestyle that just might get him signed, and my third acquaintance is enjoying the hors d’oeuvres and music. All I’m doing is sitting here on this hard metal seat planning how to make it through the next round. When we go home tonight they’ll all have memories, memories of the life they lived, and I’ll just have plans – plans that I’m at a loss on how to implement, plans that may or may not come to pass.
Of course some planning is good, necessary and strategic. Yet there is a thin line between being prepared to the degree we can by plotting out a path for ourselves, and planning that feels like post traumatic stress because between plans, implementation and potential failure one forgets to breathe and starts taking leave of one’s sensibility and spontaneity.
So please – prepare, but also take care to live, love, and yes to complete the cliché – laugh. These things don’t show up on the blueprint or reveal themselves in the checklists. They cannot be scheduled or pencilled in. Life happens every single moment, and if we spend ours planning for this, that, and the other – there is a tendency to tone out the music and tunnel our vision on the metal chair. I’m learning this one failed, frustrating, and even successful (not quite what it was cracked up to be) plan at a time.
So my aim is to plan less, pray more, fill my blind spots with faith, and free my mind to live and learn to embrace the memories of right now.
Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rohdesign/1696964330/