Posted by: Daisy | March 9, 2010

That’s not me

My family taught me how to be organized. I grew up with the expectation that everything was very organized physically and mentally. Any outings planned, required copious amounts of time to prepare for multiple possibilities and people’s locations and roles were planned out in advance.

I lived this existence for many, many years until I discovered that this wasn’t really me.

The funny thing about me is that I can be quite good at many things and my discovery was that being good at something is not the same as enjoying it. Or, being good at it, does not necessarily mean that it’s what your preference is.

My preference and strength, I found out many years later, is in adaptability and flexibility. I prefer rough plans where you fill in the detail when required. Call it a balanced mixture of planned parts, with unplanned parts so that you’re not wasting your efforts on things that are unlikely to occur. Life changes. Daily.

So of course, it is extremely stressful for my family when they are trying to plan an outing with me. They want/need it completely planned, while I’m simply booking the time off. I prioritize my efforts, and unfortunately for them, all outings with them are a ‘low priority’ meaning that the details are less important. For me, it’s just an opportunity to hang out. I shouldn’t need that much brain power to just hang out and have a good time, right? For them, they have trouble enjoying anything if it hasn’t been planned. You see the dilemma here?

As I’ve indicated to them, I have very little bandwidth left in my brain, and with respect to a simple outing in a week, it’s information I just don’t need to know until the day before, or even better, an hour or two before. I choose to go with the flow on things that should be social; even more formal things like birthdays, events, weddings and such, I’d prefer as much flexibility as possible. There are only a few parts that are ‘must haves’ like you need to sign a piece of paper, and there must be food. The rest, well, leave that to the bridezillas, thank you very much. (Oh yes, I was definately not a Bridezilla when I got married.)

Time is too precious; anything and everything can fall off the rails, and if it does, what does it really matter a year from now? They struggle with my approach and in fact stress even more about it. I can’t help how they feel about this, though I’ve tried explaining this multiple times. What can I do but laugh, and move on?

We all have great skills, but I think the best skill is knowing when you need to use which ones, and when to let it go.

– Daisy

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Responses

  1. I really like the summary of the different planning modes. Makes it clear how relying on either exclusively could be bad … it’s the balance that seems important. Nice!

    Thanks. I have certainly appreciated many planned, unplanned and partially planned events. My favourites are the balanced ones. – Daisy

  2. i plan a little and go with the flow a lot. My little sister plans everthing down to the last second, really, it drives me mad when we visit, and I have to have a cup of tea ‘now’ because it’s the time she has planned for it. I think she has a bit of a promblem

    You think? I think I’d better watch out or else someone I know might throw a cup in front of me at the planned tea-time. Nice to know others have strange family members too. – Daisy


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