I am a planner.
If I had my way, I would plan for everything. I would section my life off into neat little half-hour boxes, and all the world would work to help me achieve my plans and goals.
Sadly, I have had absolutely zero indication that the universe plans of helping me achieve my neat little OCD-inspired goals. Having four kids and a husband with an unpredictable schedule doesn’t help either.
Still and all, I am a planner. Some of the things I plan include my menu every two weeks, what chores the kids have, what room we’ll focus on cleaning each day, what room we’ll focus on deep cleaning or otherwise improving each week, main lessons for three kids each month, and workboxes/files/independent assignments for four kids each day. I plan craft projects and blog posts and when I’m going to answer my emails.
I even preplan my plans. For example, I know before I even put pen to paper that on Monday we’ll dust the living room, on Tuesday we’ll be having oatmeal for breakfast, on Wednesdays everyone will do a wet-on-wet watercolor painting, on Thursday we’ll be heading to library, and on Friday I’ll be washing diapers.
Does everything always go according to plan? Excuse me a moment. *HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!* OK, I’m back. No. Everything absolutely does not always go according to plan. Or even often according to plan. Still, I plan. And here’s the number one reason why:
Planning frees me to be more spontaneous.
I suspect this won’t make sense to the non-planners out there, but bear with me. I am a classic Type-A firstborn of two firstborns who presents with mild OCD. In the vernacular, I’m a tad bit high strung. By having these rhythms and routines in place, it frees me from making last minute decisions and allows me to truly be in the moment with my children. If I know we’re going to be coloring on Tuesdays and I know where the crayon basket and paper is kept, I don’t have to stress out trying to figure out what to do. When I know we’re having eggs on Monday, I’m better able to take the time to let my daughter practice cracking eggs and help my son butter the toast.
I’m slowly starting to accept the fact that not everyone lives with this level of planning in their lives. I’m OK with that– as long as no one tries to make me do it. I am definitely not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl. But for me, having a good solid plan in place not only makes our days flow more smoothly, but makes them more joyful, too.
And that works for me.