Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Planning to Unplan

I am a perpetual planner. I am a Mind Mapper. I am a 'To Do Lister'. I live by one. I live with one - in my daily journal, on the frig, on index cards, on my computer and staple gunned to my brain. It's how I map my day and my life.

I divide it into about a dozen categories then sub-divide it. I break it down in to annually, monthly, weekly, daily. Sometimes hourly. I add more things than I ever stroke off. That's the way it seems that I am wired. I think it comes from being self-employed for over a quarter of a century. I have to direct myself and keep on track, focused and productive. If I don't orchestrate every inch of that, no one else will. It's kind of overwhelming and tiring sometimes. Well, truth be told, as I age more it's like 'LOTS-of-times'.

Last year, I did something radical. It was one of the best and smartest things I ever did. I gave myself a gift in honour of ending my previous year and starting a new age. I gave myself the gift of August.

For the entire month I allowed myself to 'Just Be'. I would not spend the usual hours planning what I should do or should be doing. I would not even think about what I would be/could be/should be doing when fall and Reality arrived on September 1st. I released myself from any guilt.

It was nice.

Holding thoughts of August in the depths of  January.

Whenever my brain would start to slip into planning mode, I said sharply 'Uh-uh ... no thinking until September!' It was indeed strange but it was wonderful.

I spent more time staying home than I have in all the years we have been here. I didn't slip into town on my usual 'being busy' projects. I didn't 'Do'. I didn't 'Go'.

I sat on the front porch and read and wrote. I sat on my cabin porch and painted. I actually watched movies at night. That is weird for me.

It was refreshing, rejuvenating and peaceful.

I liked it so much that this year I have to PLAN on it. That sounds crazy - plan on unplanning. But if I know if I'm going to allow myself that gift again, I should not mess around so much in the other months.

Which means busy myself NOW.

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