I’m a planner.
It’s not only my vocation; it is how I work my life. It’s how I juggle all the balls, how I keep the ducks in a row, how I keep myself afloat (and sometimes others, as well.)
It’s been a source of much teasing over the years, and often extra work piled on me – since I’m considered the "planner" in most situations. I like to know what is happening, when, and how. I like to be prepared for whatever may come and to be at the ready to help those who aren’t…as prepared.
It’s not that I don’t like to be spontaneous. I actually crave spontaneity and a less controlled life. It’s just not an easy place for me to get to…or stay. I learned a lot in the last few years about the benefit of not being controlled by the overriding culture of busyness; of rest and simply being present in whatever situation I was in or with whatever I was dealing with. And knowing, through it, I’d be ok. Yet the pull of planning and scheduling (and overscheduling, if I’m honest) and just doing, is strong.
Interestingly, I’m learning that this isn’t just how I was made, as I’d always thought. It’s a protective mechanism, one likely long ingrained into my being. It’s a way of establishing a measure of control in a chaotic world, of maintaining an uneasy equilibrium in a tilt-a-whirl life. More than that, it’s a way to appease and abate the ripples of anxiety I’ve only recently come to acknowledge as a part of my life…before they push past the walls and bubble up.
Who knew? Yet it makes perfect sense. In creating order, in planning, in preparation, I can allay my fears. I can counteract the what ifs. I can calm the waves and keep my head above water. And I can protect myself from the unknown.
But is that the best way to really live life? As with everything, it’s likely about balance…and change…and growth…and sometimes dipping your toe in the water, just to see.