On Making Plans

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” ~ Gloria Steinem

Last night after consulting my Job Jar, I came up with a great list of things from Friday morning to Sunday. It truly is a wonderful list, filled mostly with fun things, healthy things, useful things, and so on. One of of the items I picked was to go have a walk with my camera, something I haven’t done for quite some time now, and I planned on getting up at a reasonable hour today and start my day with the walk, since getting outside seems to be the most challenging thing to do for me these days and I’m always putting it off until it’s too late. But this morning I suppose my body and mind decided otherwise because neither alarm clock nor cat running amok nor guilt could rouse me and I just lay there in bed captive to my dreams, well into the afternoon as has been the case all too often these days. I do realize that parents of small children fantasize about that sort of thing, but I inevitably end up feeling like a lazy sloth, no matter how much catching up I do the rest of the day.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” ~ John Lennon

I just love that John Lennon quote. It seems there are two schools of thought when it comes to planning: those who live by the book and believe life is only effectively experienced with a clear plan and a firm destination, and those who choose to go with the flow, recognizing that no matter how many plans we make, life always gets in the way. Then of course, there are those who fall somewhere in between the two groups, as I do. So while I admit that being lulled by my dreams and sleeping through a better part of the day is a very poor excuse for not having followed through on my plans today, if I’m to believe what Gloria Steinem says (“Dreaming… is a form of planning”) I could let myself off the hook and say perhaps I needed that extra dreamtime to form the right sort of plans — tailored to what I’m actually capable of delivering, while still challenging me a little. That line of reasoning certainly helps me do away with the guilt, but it somehow seems too convenient. After all, the only flaw I can see with my “to do” list was that there were far too many items on it, and there was no way I could have managed to accomplish it all in three days, which would have been demoralizing.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

I just started an excellent book last night called My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk, the reading of which I’m dying to pursue today, and I really feel like starting a new drawing as well — two things which were not featured on my exhaustive task list. Which means I’ll have to make choices. Either I stick to the plan because I decide than an arbitrary list of items is what will determine how I use my time over the next couple of days, or I adapt the system as suits me best and do away with the obsession of ticking off as many boxes as possible to gain a sense of accomplishment. It’s not like I’m trying to prove anything — no one is grading on how many items I manage to cram into my day, I’m not on any kind of schedule, and there is certainly no set destination. Can you tell I’m trying to convince myself really hard here? The upside is I suppose all of this makes me a good traveler according to Lao Tzu’s philosophy, which happens to be the one that suits me best for now. No Plans, and in No Rush to Get There* R Us. I’m sure there are plenty of Highly Efficient People out there to keep the machine going in the meantime.

* wherever “there” happens to be

photo: www.listography.com


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