I find that part of getting older is that all my qualities, good and bad, are getting stronger and more pronounced. It gets harder and harder to change; I suppose that’s the source of the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I am, apparently, an old dog.
One thing that’s causing me some trouble lately is my need to have everything planned. That was definitely a good thing when I was young and in school and trying to juggle three projects and two term papers at once. It’s still a useful quality when dealing with three kids with multiple activities and 25 people on the Christmas shopping list and you just volunteered to organize the Scouts silent auction. Planning, it’s what’s for dinner.
But trouble arrives when I get too attached to plans, when I’ve decided things well in advance and put it to bed in my mind – “That’s all taken care of, finally I can relax!” – and then things change at the last minute. I’ll often have work deadlines or assignments change, or find out about a birthday party last minute that we have to squeeze into the schedule, or someone will get sick and my plan for the day is out the window. This can cause me to be unreasonably cranky, and trust me when I say, UNREASONABLE. I am not very good at going with the flow.
This fall I am trying hard to chill out a bit, to take things as they come. I’m trying not to work so far in advance – leaving things until the deadline makes me very nervous, but a little nervous is better than a lot pissy when things change and I take it out on the people who live in my house. I’m trying to build a little extra time into my daily schedule so I can deal with sudden problems without feeling so much pressure. I’m trying to take a deep breath when something new happens and just take a moment to force myself to refocus, to pause before reacting.
It’s going better, but there’s still a long way to go. It’s hard, but becoming more flexible is one new trick I think this old dog really has to learn.
And that concludes NaBloPoMo! I was going to make a big post about it but really all I want to say is that I really, really enjoyed it. I’ve missed you blogging. See you again soon, but not too soon, because I’m busy making gingerbread houses and playing Christmas hide-and-seek and WHAT WAS I THINKING WITH THIS ADVENT CALENDAR? Happy holidays, everyone :).
3 thoughts on “Going With the Flow”
Lynn, I will miss your daily posts (good luck with that gingerbread…)! Good advice there, for us PLANNERS. More space in each day, deep breaths. Can I add one? It’s OK to say “I’ll get back to you” or, “let me think about this” when there’s a sudden change, to give ourselves more time than it takes for a breath, in order to refocus and come up with a new plan. I have been trying this, and amazingly, people seem to accept that I can’t always turn on a dime. Who knew? Hope to see you before Christmas, but if we can’t manage that, have a fabulous holiday!
Thank you Lynn, I enjoyed every single post you wrote and it was a wonderful gift to have something new every day to read. Thank you, thank you.
See, I’m the opposite: I REFUSE to plan anything because every time I plan something, it never happens the way it was supposed to. I have other control issues, though 😆
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