For years I have envied people who can make a plan and then stick to it. It's a no brainer for them. They make a plan so that they know exactly what to do when. I finally, finally realized that I am just not wired that way.
I love making plans but when I try to make myself stick to them, I feel trapped. I suddenly want to do anything but the thing I had planned to do. The funny thing is, I grew up in a planning society and in a planning family. And I realize that a good plan gives many people a sense of security. Not me. Mostly, it just takes the wind out of my sails.
Then it dawned on me: I make plans to get inspired. To brainstorm. To see the possibilities. To get my thinking unstuck and organized for a minute or two.
And once the plan is made, I may or may not follow it. The older I get the more I realize the importance of letting go of control and going with the flow. When I paint and I try to control the outcome, it never works. So when I get stuck, I get out the paints and paint with my fingers and hands, fast and without a plan - that connects me to the creative flow and always gets me going again.
The same is true for me in life. I don't like to know exactly what the year is going to bring. I don't like to make plans too far in advance. I need to have room for surprises, for changing direction, for play, and for inspiration.
If I had planned my life too strictly, I would have never started painting. I didn't know I could paint, so there was no way to plan for it. It was one of those happy surprises and I am so grateful I had room for it in my life!
Life it delicious and it moves and changes fast. And the most amazing moments I find are those that I didn't plan for, that aren't predictable. The ones that are easily missed when I follow a plan too strictly. Plus, when life does bring a surprise, it can completely throw me off kilter if I didn't leave room for flexibility.
And yet, I still plan because I love how a good plan organizes me for the moment and gives me a general direction in which to expand. But beyond that, I might change everything around the next moment. And that's quite alright!
Here's to a week full of delightful surprises for us all!