Plans Change


I recently had someone point out to me that I really don’t do well with change.

HUH?

Are you kidding me? Every single day of our lives, we change, improvise, adapt, overcome, and make a new plan. Human nature likes routine. Human nature likes to  function on auto-pilot and reserve brain cells.

Improvixe, Adapt. Overcome.

Improvise, Adapt. Overcome.

Change happens. Hence, today’s post is changed from what I had planned. More about that later.

It seems a regular routine that I make plans and they are changed, they get changed, or I have to change them because I made an unrealistic plan.   Seriously,  I know it’s not feasible to unclutter my house in one week. The amount of STUFF contained by four people,  one of which is a serious packrat on the verge of hoarder, one that is completely disorganized and two that never put things back where they belong – yeah, I doubt I can get it one in a month! Maybe a room a week might be doable. That’s just one item on my list.

Here is a list of reasons why you have to  wad up your plans and  make new ones.

  1. Unrealistic goals.  You would think being over 30 that I would have learned a long time ago to make more reasonable goals. This is one reason I have to keep reminding myself to make SMART goals. I get excited with a plan and get overly ambitious. That’s when I set myself up for failure by saying things like – I am going to have our entire house clutter free by the end of September.  Guess what? September came and went and I barely made a dent in it.  Not that I was busy preparing for Penned Con or anything. I am learning however, to look at my planner first,  check to see what is already scheduled before I make plans. Yeah, it’s only taken me this many years to figure this out. *eye roll*  (Eyeroll inserted courtesy of Mandee Shanklin)
  2. Unexpected Surprises. Things come up. An unplanned trip to urgent care. A surprise visit from a stomach virus. Drop in guests that stay for hours and hours and possibly overnight. I’ve mentioned this before, but when you work from home, people assume that you don’t really do anything so you can go out to lunch at the drop of a hat,  you can have drop-in visitors that stay for hours, or you are free to go shopping with them all afternoon. While there are times that I may welcome the  occasional visitor,   most of the time it requires a great deal of self-discipline to manage my time.
  3. Giant wrenches! There are times when  a giant wrench is thrown into the gears and everything comes to a screeching halt. For example: allocating my time divided between writing, editing, and stocking the resale shop. I made a plan to  go to the shop on Tuesdays and Friday. On Wednesday I made tags and do inventory. On Monday I spent a couple of hours cleaning items and deciding what goes this week. However, when my daughter’s work schedule changes and she has to be at work at one in the afternoon that leaves me without a car to  take my items to the shop. We’ve been juggling three cars between four adults. I really don’t want to buy a fourth car. It’s time for our girls to work on buying their cars. But in the mean time, I am the one who ends up without wheels. Before you say just take public transportation, we don’t have any here.  I live in a rural area. The neighbor’s  horses aren’t up for rent either.
  4. Unforeseen Complications.  They pop up all the time.  This is why when you work for someone else and have to give an estimate for a deadline,  you factor 25% more time into your project projection because inevitably,  something will come up that delays your deadline.  It is more difficult to get step 4 accomplished than you originally planned for, so that means the extra time it took you to problem solve for that problem has pushed your completion date back by four days. This is also the reason why I have to make self-imposed deadlines. Without setting deadlines for myself,  I hit a snag and drift aimlessly for hours, days, sometimes it turns into weeks. Before you know it,  it’s been six months  that I’ve been stagnated.
  5. Too Many Irons in the Fire. This. Right here.  This one more than anything else is the root of my problem. I know some people who pride themselves on juggling multiples of multiples. I’m not a juggler.  I’m not a single-minded individual either. I’m  somewhere in between, closer to the single-minded end,  but erratic enough that I always, ALWAYS have too many things going on at any given time. The problem is,  nothing gets my undivided attention, therefore I don’t ever get that full sense of satisfaction from focused effort on one thing at  a time. I”m working on this. I’m better than I was,  but I still have a long way to go.

So, back to my original plan for today.  I did some really cool stuff at Penned Con that I am planning to share.  I was planning to start on Monday,  but I was exhausted. Sorry –  not going to make any excuses. I was wiped. The adrenalin rush subsided and I was drained.  So scratch Monday.

Yesterday I had a car, so I was in a mad scramble to get all of my errands completed. I got a couple of hours of writing time  in the morning, then it was off on a big circuit to the shops, grocery store, bank, post office, and I forgot to stop at the library.

This morning,  I get feedback from individuals that  I talked with at Penned and their first impressions of me were based on comments made by another individual. Wow! Thanks for that. It may seem like I don’t handle change well but in fact, I do.  I talk about it, talk about my frustration with it,  but I manage it. If I didn’t handle it I would need a prescription for Xanax or one of those other things daily. Of course, as it was also pointed out if I were to take the Xanax,  then I probably wouldn’t stress eat.

Xanax versus brownies . . .  I am fond of brownies. Not as fond of the chemicals in the drugs. I need all the brain cells I can muster.  I freely admit I am a long time self-medicator with food. Now put my  brownies back on the table and back away slowly and no one will get hurt.

Plans change. We adapt. We make new plans. Life throws us a curve ball,  we bunt. It throws a speedball, we hit a homer! Sometimes we strike out,  but sometimes it’s a grand slam.

What about you? Are you adapting? Are you still in the game or are you sitting on the bench wringing your hands?  I haven’t given up yet, you shouldn’t either. Take a deep breath and get back in the game!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

Advertisements

3 comments on “Plans Change

  1. I’ve struggles with anxiety for most of my life and what really sent me into a panic attack was when plans changed. I didn’t handle surprises very well, every time something happened that changed my plans I felt as though I was losing control and losing the game. I’m really happy that is now a part of the past. I have learned to handle change well, accept it and move on. I still get bouts of anxiety but no where near panic attacks like I used to. I think it’s important to be adaptable. The fact that we sometimes express our displeasure of events that change our plans does not necessarily mean that we can’t handle change well.

    Like

    • That is the main point I was getting at, that expressing our displeasure doesn’t mean that we can’t handle it. Thank you for commenting and letting me know that someone gets what I am saying! Life is hard at times for all of us, we need to extend a little grace to others.

      Like

  2. I’m not good with change, either. And I always put my writing on the back burner. I definitely need to plan my days and weeks for writing and allow myself flexibility. I need realistic goals, too. I remember at the beginning of the year setting a lot of goals for myself. By the time half the year went by, I ended up scrapping some of them because I set my expectations too high. So I’m working on more manageable goals, like completing a short story a month.

    Good luck with meeting your goals.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s