The best laid plans of a planner

The best laid plans of a planner

The best laid plans of a planner

Despite my approach to homeschooling, I am a planner by nature.

I like to make plans, set goals, create to-do lists, and—most importantly—execute those plans. And I love to learn tips and secrets for being more productive.

But this year has been a lesson in letting go of my plans instead.

It all started in early 2015 with a surprise pregnancy that pretty much kicked my tail at every stage. I had morning sickness, exhaustion, extremely low blood pressure, spotting and bleeding, varicose veins, nerve pain, swollen feet, and more. I thought pregnancy was the hard part, but our surprise #6 came out wanting to be held all day every day, and 10 months later pretty much nothing has changed.

All along the way I’ve had to let go of my plans.

In the spring, I traveled quite a bit to be with family during some hard situations. And I let go of plans.

Each week I make a list of to-dos and goals…and each week I let go of my plans.

The best laid plans of a planner

It’s hard enough to get things done while toting a 21-pound baby around, but it’s even harder when he wants all of your attention as well.

I truly can’t image parenting him without the help of my big girls. But I’m also realizing that this is less about him than it is about me. I am task-oriented to the core, and that’s made me a pretty productive person.

But it also means that learning to just be is a steep learning curve.

It doesn’t matter how much I want to start my day with folding laundry and reading my Bible and knocking out work projects, there are many mornings when my only option is to sit and cuddle the baby who wants to be awake but not quite that awake.

It doesn’t matter that my picture of a perfect school day includes hours of reading while the girls color peacefully in the foreground; the toddler and the baby want to play.

And it doesn’t matter that I intended to read 100 books this year; between travel, work, and the baby’s demands for my attention, I’ll be lucky to even crack 50.

I’ve set writing goals and started working on new products for the Life Your Way shop. I’ve bought domain names and outlined business plans. And I’ve had to let go of all of them for now because my best laid plans simply aren’t meant to be.

So instead I wake up each day holding my plans loosely in the palm of my hands. I pray that I will be patient and loving and kind even when everything goes wrong…and several hours in I end up praying for a fresh start so I can try again.

The best laid plans of a planner

I’m learning that while plans and goals and to-do lists are good, people come first. And I’m learning to find my identity in who I am and not what I do.

I’m not done making plans, and I’m not giving up hope that I will get my mornings and extra hours back sometime (and hopefully sometime soon!), but in the meantime, I’m accepting that my best laid plans aren’t always meant to be…and I’m learning to be okay with that too!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mandi – this resonated with me! 10 years ago, my business was just starting to become healthy and generate a predictable income. I had hired a virtual assistant and a designer and had a great little office inside a Business Resource Centre. I had great plans for the coming years – my five year plan was firm and inspiring!
    Then my step-daughter (who has a severe personality disorder) lost custody of her boys. Within a year I had three new sons ranging in age from 2 days to 5 years old. It took me years to realize that ALL of my plans had to change – surely I could do it all. Even now I find I am continually “re-grouping” and taking stock, revising my plans, and still revising my illusions of how much time I will have in the day for business… especially in the summer.
    I love what you say about holding your plans “loosely” in your hands. Grasping and fighting just makes it all worse 🙂

  2. Oh such a good reminder for me, Mandi. I find there are two times a year when my heart goes to plan making — the end of the year and the end of the summer. I am heart-deep into plan mode right now, but as good as everything looks on paper (in 15 minute increments – ahem!) I have got to remember that “ideal” does not mean “real”. I won’t get where I want to be without a plan but I can’t dictate the world by my plan…

  3. Know that you are not alone. I am a planner and a list maker at heart too!

    There have been times I have looked at the blank pages of my 10-day goal recap. And I have had to come to terms with not beating myself up after realizing I cannot put ONE. SINGLE. THING. DOWN from my plans for those ten days.

    Thank you for the reminder that sometimes it is about us learning how to relinquish control.

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