PLANS – ARE THEY COMFORTING OR A SOURCE OF STRESS?

My plan is to always publish my continued gratitude list on Mondays to stay in line with the posts on Ann’s blog, but of late I have not met my plan.  I’m generally okay with that as life happens, and I can live with a few things falling between the cracks.  The plan won’t change – it is my intention to publish gratitude lists on Mondays (or as soon there after as I can manage).

As a general matter, I love having a plan.  It makes me feel safe.  It helps me know what the steps I need to take are, and where I am in the journey of achieving my goal.  A plan gives me the sense that what I want to accomplish is achievable.  Sometimes that may prove to be a false sense if the plan doesn’t work, but that is a whole other ball of string. 

A plan also allows me to work with others with less fear that we might not be trying to achieve the same thing.

But this morning I was talking with a friend about plans and she very kindly informed me that not all people like plans.  In fact, for some, a plan is intimidating because in the long run it might be the plan that defines where we fail.  For some people a plan is just an opportunity to see what they did wrong.

I never thought of it that way before.  I’m close to someone who doesn’t like a plan – married to him in fact.  I’ve always been confused as to why he doesn’t want to make specific plans for achieving financial goals or parenting goals or really any other goals we have together.  It is so easy for him to say “Yeah, let’s do that!” but to be frustrated when I come up with the inevitable “how are we going to do it?  Can we make a plan?”

Funny how people are so different on this.  The plan gives me a sense of “can do” and safety, but for others it is a threat to their sense of self because it points out where they went wrong.

I don’t know if Andy’s objection to making specific plans is because he’s afraid – maybe he has other reasons for not having a plan, but the conversation with my friend has made me curious enough to ask.

For me, planning is also a way to engage in my new word for the year – progress.  Without planning I generally make little progress.  So, I fully admit, I am an advocate for planning.

Anyway, here is the planned Gratitude list, a day later than planned, but here all the same:

 

796.  Fresh snow fall for J to go snowboarding on.

797.  Friend to have tea with and talk on Tuesday mornings.

798.  J’s helpful demeanor with younger kids.

799.  Freezer full of food for those days when grocery shopping is out of the question – day after day after day.

800. Cross-country skiing with Andy

801.  Understanding and supportive friends.

802.  The opportunity to be in the life of those who are hurting.

803.  Two-day trial complete for Andy and a very challenging client.

804.  Hot water showers on bone chilling days.

805.  Options for meeting needs.

806.  Bright starts in the chill winter sky.

807.  Elk on Gooch Hill as I drive to town.

808.  Cars that have been reliable.

809.  Reconnecting with Clean Eating as a plan for nutrition.

810.  Unexpected opportunity and energy to clean house.

811.  Good blood test results.

812.  Letters written to loved ones.

813.  Comments about J’s kindness from other parents.

814.  Open honest conversations to get the information needed to make good decisions.

815.  Working side by side with my husband.

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Categories: Daily life, gratitude, Photography, Progress | Leave a comment

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