I’m excellent at making plans. Do you know what I’m even better at? Having them go awry. I like to think that I’m one of those people who have it all together. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that those people don’t exist. And, if they do, I’m certainly not one of them. I’d like to be. I really would. But, no matter how hard I try, it never seems to work out.
One of my yearly rituals in early January is to sit down at my desk and begin to plan out the year. There are certain events that I attend annually. In May, I always go to the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides fundraiser in Atlanta. In October, there is Pride in Atlanta. I dutifully mark these on my calendar and make travel arrangements. We usually get theater tickets in Jacksonville. So, I note these as well. Then I proceed by filling in other important dates such as birthdays, doctor’s appointments, vacations, and every other conceivable event that is on the horizon. This high level view of the year usually works out pretty well.
As the months progress, I start filling in the mundane details of daily life. This is where I lose control. It almost becomes an obsession. Before I leave the parking lot of the dry cleaner, I make note on my iPhone calendar of the day and time that I need to pick it up. When I scan in a medication refill to Walgreens, I add precisely the date and time I project that I will pick it up. I add dates and times to my calendar of when I need to pay a certain bill, go to Kroger, or even send an e-mail. Sometimes I think that I’d like to be a person with a full agenda of important events perhaps even with someone to keep track of them for me but I’m far from that. My calendar becomes cluttered with trivial and mundane tasks. It’s really crazy all of the things I try to keep track of.
Needless to say, the details of my calendar keep me in constant motion. Rarely does a day go by when I actually do the things my calendar tells me. I’m lucky if I get to them on the right day. I almost never do them at the right time. Maybe there isn’t a right time. Does it really matter if I pick up my dry cleaning at noon rather than at 5? Does it really matter if I buy groceries on Monday rather than Tuesday? I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t. So long as I get it all done, it doesn’t matter at all.
Maybe I should take a step back and not try to manage every minute of every day. Maybe I should realize that circumstances will come up when I can’t do everything I need to do at exactly the time I plan on doing them weeks in advance. Maybe, just maybe, I’m a little neurotic and just a tad off balance. I think these “maybes” are facts. I’m going to make a concerted effort not to be so organized that it makes my daily routine a stress-filled dash from one activity to the next. It couldn’t hurt. After all, it never works anyway. If you see a little of yourself in this essay, maybe you should join me in giving this a try. Let’s just take the small things in life as they come, not to try and control everything, and just try to enjoy life as it happens.