So, it’s come to my attention recently that I have a slight “thing” with control … and plans … and timelines … and goals. OK, it’s not breaking news. It is who I am. Who I’ve always been. It keeps me focused and keeps me taking the steps I need to take to end up at my final goal — a specific, timed and measurable goal. It’s true of anything I do — I set goals and go after them with everything I have: School, work, life …
I think that’s why weight-loss and long-distance running work for me. They involve plans. And goals. And charts (oh, boy, do I love charts). And spreadsheets. And — this is my very favorite part — calendars and planners. Preferably color-coded — all of it. With a goal end date and a specific outcome in mind — spelled out, in writing, so I stay focused.
“Control your destiny or somebody else will.” ~Jack Welch
Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t allow myself some flexibility. Because I do. There are times life doesn’t go according to plan. That’s why you have plans B, C and D. With branches and off-shoots and baby-step plans in between.
Ask Rosebud. She’ll tell ya. When we went on the 30th Birthday Extravaganza earlier this year, I had every intention of playing it all by ear, flying by the seat of my pants. But, and I’ll be completely honest, I had to plan to be spontaneous. And even have a few “what-if” baby plans in case something didn’t work out.
Mr. B can tell you the same thing. Or, at least he’ll be able to after we take our New Year’s Chicago vacation together. It’s pretty planned out. Heck, I even plan to be spontaneous on New Year’s Eve and order room service and walk around the city, just the two of us. This is, apparently, as spontaneous as I get.
I’m not ashamed to admit that:
- I like making plans and lists and checking things off
- Office supply stores make me very, very happy — a girl can never have too many Post-It notes, black ink pens, tiny notebooks, Sharpies and file folders
- Dog-eared books make me extremely uncomfortable and somewhat angry — don’t even get me started on broken spines of books
- Flying by the seat of our pants probably ain’t gonna fly with me, unless I really, really like love ya
- I make lists on how to be spontaneous
- I will know every complication to medical procedures I’m going to have — and it served me well in preparing myself for wonky-mouth caused by my salivary gland removal
- I over-pack no matter where I’m going or for how long — I just want to be prepared for anything and everything
- I can probably name off all the side effects to my medications — and maybe even yours
- I think about things that are way down the line so I can plan for them — and plan around them
- Someone’s inability to make decisions — especially the simple ones like where to go for dinner — is stressful for me
- Second-guessing and going back on a decision makes me anxious
- Worrying sometimes brings me comfort and helps me keep my mind occupied while waiting for whatever is to come
- I am both an optimist and a planner at the same time
- Just because I plan for the worst doesn’t mean I don’t hope for the best — because I do, I really, really do
Coincidence that my three favorite keys lie so closely together on a keyboard? I think not. How I function? How I succeed? It’s about control. And exploring all of the alternative options. See what I did there? Tied the random picture right into what I was writing about. Clever? Or a lovely control of my thoughts and words?