Plan Ahead

I used to hate to plan.  I hated planning most things – meals, trips, schedules, or appointments.  In graduate school, of course, I learned to plan appointments or my career would have ended before it began but, other types of appointments and other plans remained a nasty chore.  I always considered planning to be a terrible waste of time. I saw no use in spending good hours thinking about things that were not happening for awhile.  One of my college friends reminded me that when everyone was rushing to the library to study, I used to say, “It will all get done.”  By the way, with that clever philosophy, I did lousy in college.

 Over time, this changed. I don’t know why; maybe growing up and creating a complicated life that quickly taught me that if I wanted my kids to have lunch tomorrow, I better get to the store today. Same with laundry and gas for the car. It took crummy meals, damp clothes and gliding into a service station on gasoline fumes before these lessons stuck. 

I learned more about planning when I wanted to write my first book. It had to happen in addition to my other responsibilities, not in lieu of them.  I needed a schedule that permitted me to write. That meant planning – a necessary evil. I learned to block off my time and respect it the same way I respect my appointments with other people.

 Now, I’ve come 180 degrees. Planning is a good chunk of the pleasure I find in doing things. I feel like I extend the vacation, meal or plan by planning. I get to enjoy it before it happens, I enjoy it during, and afterward, when I review the photos, get the book royalties, reminisce, or eat the leftovers.



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