A Reminder for Me to Stop Overly Planning My Life

A Reminder for Me to Stop Overly Planning My Life

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a planner.

With many things, this is an asset. For example, I’ve planned the shit out of my upcoming move which is now two weeks away. Every week had a to do list and a timeline for goals, so now even with unexpected bumps in the road… I haven’t crawled into a fetal position with a bottle of wine for the mental breakdown I’m pretty sure I’m do. Actually, I’ve been clipping along quite nicely, and I thank my obsessive planning for that.

But not everything can be improved by check marks and order. Really, most of life is a lot more organic and doesn’t lend itself to planning. This is where I fail.

My brain is a pretty active place, and tends to get a bit carried away with itself. Maybe it’s part of the reason that writing comes somewhat naturally to me, but I’m pretty damn good at creating situations in my head and obsessively routing out all the directions they may go. Most of the time these directions are where I want them to lead, and that’s where the trouble is. I’m so good at creating different futures for myself, that I sometimes forget that they are just fiction.

Let’s take horses for example.

Can I meet a potential new equine friend and just say, “Oh wow. This could be something great!” NO I CANNOT. Instead, I build up all these crazy expectations and then completely devastated when said horse does not live up to the fiction I’ve created.

Unfortunately, I often do the same thing with relationships.

It doesn’t end there. When I don’t know where my life is going, I dream up every scenario possible and will it to be true.

Before I even started hearing back from grad schools, I had already decided where it is I would be going and started perusing houses to buy when I got there. I do this, because I am a crazy person.

I must continue this line of thinking because I enjoy setting myself up for disappointment, but even that isn’t true. The BEST things of my life have always been unexpected. I never thought I’d move to Texas with my husband and best friend. I would have laughed if you told me a skinny OTTB with bad hocks would become the best horse I’ve ever had.

The things I love the most, I could never have planned. My head had no way of knowing how much my heart would explode around them, and how much better they’ve made me.

Even if I could have planned all of that, I wouldn’t have. They were beautiful and amazing and unexpected in all of the right ways.

I’m trying to remind myself that there’s more of the same in my future.

24 thoughts on “A Reminder for Me to Stop Overly Planning My Life

  1. I absolutely love this post and the paint graphics. I can totally relate to mentally getting WAY ahead of reality.

  2. That dreamboat of a guy in the dating comic really reminded me of someone… someone familiar… I just can’t put my finger on it…

  3. Move is fast approaching! Life has a way of throwing our plans back at us and I am sure California holds tons of adventures for you and the fur family!

  4. I love this. What a great post – I totally identify. I’m the queen of wandering down the what if road.

    Best of luck to you Lauren – great things are indeed headed your way.

  5. Some of the best things in life, simply refuse to be anything planned and when they happen, they are usually far better than things we may have hoped for. I love the pic’s. Awesome!

  6. Um. We might have to fight over Eric/Alexander… even if he’s boring. He doesn’t have to keep me stimulated with his conversation, ya know?

    Love the paint graphics. This really could be a popular cartoon!

  7. These cartoons. They’re amazing. And also? I do this in my head ALL THE TIME. Always have. At some point in recent years I realized it was a problem and I try to not let myself be upset when my fictional future doesn’t (hardly ever) workout lol

  8. These graphics crack me up and the subject matter hits close to home. 😀 Ahhhh, if only I could get back all the time I’ve invested thinking through and planning scenarios that never came to fruition…

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