The Illness Of Planning

I’ve been sick in my hotel room for two days… I hate being sick, but who doesn’t?  It’s not the “feeling bad” that gets me the most – it’s the sitting still that I don’t do well with.  My organization has me overseas again to facilitate some details with one of our projects.  Earlier in the trip I found out I’d have an extra week of work to fill and it seemed like I’d made the perfect plans to fill it up… traveling to one of our sites up north.  Then of course, I got sick, so that plan went out the window.

In the hotel room my air-conditioning is running full blast but some areas of this space are sill so warm.  I laugh when my sneezes coincide with the beat of party music from the streets below.  Now there’s a song I recognize… an Asian cover to one of Adele’s top hits.  This is such a funny place, but even sick, I love being here, but right now I have much time to myself.  I start thinking about all the times my plans have failed.

I know I haven’t written in a while.  I guess I’ve just been busy with life… more of my plans not going as planned.  (Feeling a little bit like that’s a “plans failed” moment.)  So here’s a pet peeve of mine… as an American, I’m so often told to make a plan, to have goals.  The classic job interview question of “where do you see yourself in 5 years” comes to mind.  Strange enough though, my life experiences tell me just the opposite, “forget planning, because the future never ends of looking as planned anyway.”  In fact, my counselor tells me at nausea to take things “one day at a time.”

What’s the point of our plans? I plan as a child and life doesn’t work out.  I plan as an adult and trajectories change.  I don’t mean to say that every change is a bad change, just a change.  I suppose I’m just pondering… does how closely or loosing you hold desires for your future directly relate to your level of happiness?  I think if I allowed my heart to get too wrapped up in plans at a young age I would have died long ago.  But then again… does this mean that I have an inability to dream, to wish, to desire?… hmmm that can’t be good.

May this blog serve as an education to those who do not yet know or understand the atrocities of trafficking and may it serve as an encouragement to those who understand it all too well.

(Post originally written 6/10/12)

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  1. This is the very thing I’ve been discussing with my therapist over the last few weeks–planning or dreaming about the future. I’m learning how to do that for the first time in my life and it scares me more than I can say. My brain shuts down at the thought of dreaming about the future because as a child, my dreams were shot down. I learned not to dream because if I did, it would never happen. I stopped dreaming. I stopped planning. I stopped looking forward to anything in life. And that’s a very difficult skill to relearn.

    • Thanks for sharing this. You’re right… it’s a very difficult skill to return.

  2. Nik

     /  June 15, 2012

    Here’s my Friday Art contribution. Be sure to crank up your volume.

  3. I have often found myself pondering these same questions. How to have hope and desire and goals and plans and also how to hold them with open hands, knowing that life is indeed full of change…. Good thoughts to let ruminate. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. Nik

     /  June 13, 2012

    Considering your blog this morning I hope this lifts your spirits. Many on the list would seem to apply. I hope and pray the rest of your trip goes well and safely. This may be a little large for your blog comment line but here goes. It would be nice if I were to have your permission to use your other email address. Notice I asked for permission. Yeah,
    I’m feeling a little guilty having used it once before, BUT IT WAS OUT THERE FOR ALL TO SEE.

    Written by a 90 year old

    This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!! Make sure you read to the end!!!!!!

    Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

    “To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.

    My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

    1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

    2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

    3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

    4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

    5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

    6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

    7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

    8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

    9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

    10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

    11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

    12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

    13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

    14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

    15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

    16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

    17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

    18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

    19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

    20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

    21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

    22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

    23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

    24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

    25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

    26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

    27. Always choose life.

    28. Forgive everyone everything.

    29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

    30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

    31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

    32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

    33. Believe in miracles.

    34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

    35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

    36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

    37. Your children get only one childhood.

    38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

    39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

    40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

    41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

    42. The best is yet to come…

    43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

    44. Yield.

    45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”


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