My incredible parents flew down to LA to take care of my one-year-old so the hubby and I could get away for a few days. And it was heaven. I am an incredibly fortunate person is all I gotta say. I’ve had a lot of people with kids tell me “Oh wow, we never got to do that…” and that’s including people who live in the same city as their parents. And I planned all of this.
But this post is about planning and how I’m bad at it. Just writing that last sentence made my entire body tense up. The idea of looking ahead into the future and trying to anticipate my needs sends me reeling into anxiety waves.
Forget the Big Planning- the stuff of retirement saving and investments- right now, I’m talking about packing a bag for a long weekend. I have a tendency to over-pack when I pack for vacations. “If I pack all these outfits, then I’ll have time to wear them,” my brain says… I have a hard time planning what to do in the time I have on vacation- if I pick one thing to do, it excludes all the other things and makes me feel like I have less time.
Meal-planning takes me FOREVER. And I really only grocery-shop for dinners. I have been incapable of orchestrating lunches for myself or my husband. I try to picture myself during the work week and what I might want to eat and my head kind of explodes.
I leave all school projects to the last minute. Any time I try to sit down and figure out what needs to be done when, I start to panic and quickly distract myself with something else… washing dishes, for instance.
And this happens with everything… taxes, signing up for healthcare, getting the house clean for guests… And while I was thinking about this post, I thought it might be connected to my religious past which told me that life on earth didn’t matter so my attention was continually focused on being as close to God as possible- listening to songs that said things like “Don’t worry about tomorrow, he’s got it under control.” I would just expect things to work out on their own.
Things do work out on their own a lot… I always get the projects in on time, the house gets clean enough, I don’t starve to death, healthcare expenses don’t bankrupt me, the rent is always paid… But I also don’t have any savings and I’m saddled with a huge amount of credit card and student loan debt… the idea of “making a plan” to get out of this scares the crap out of me. It’s like the big version of when I have so much to do, I’m afraid of making the to-do list because I”m just going to figure out that I don’t have enough time to do anything. I’m afraid to make a plan because I’ll figure out that I’m going to be miserable for the rest of my life. That’s irrational. But that’s what’s happening in my brain. Planning is hard and scary and something I have to work on.