Why We Shouldn't Over-Plan Our Lives
It's the last day of my week-long sabbatical. On February 24th I left a job that I've had for nearly five years to take a chance on something new. While it was sad and scary to leave a place where I felt comfortable, it's also exciting to open a new chapter that's different and challenging.
Over the last week I've thought a lot about how different my life is today than I ever thought it would be. Most of the basics are what I planned for. I'm a wife, home-owner, engineer, etc. Digging deeper into the details of my life is where it gets interesting, a little bit messy, and unpredictable. Some of the best parts of my life are the parts that weren't "part of the plan", like: moving to the City, adopting Gatsby, becoming a freelance photographer, going on a service trip, (to name a few). These, of course, are all good surprises. There are also plenty of "bad" surprises I could list. Plenty of unplanned events that have changed my life in ways that even if given the chance, I wouldn't take away a single bad or painful experience. It's both the good with the bad that have shaped who I am and where I am today. Bottom line: my life is better than I could have ever planned for, and yet I still find myself trying to plan it moving forward.
In my last blog post I explained that I have the kind of personality where I'm constantly living in the future. I'm a planner, and I like to know what's ahead and anticipate new experiences. I accept this about myself, it's deeply rooted in me, and I likely can't ever fully stop myself from thinking I can control what's ahead. Every so often I have to give myself a pep talk to slow my role and remember that I'm not really the one who's in charge. Shauna Niequist says it best in Bread & Wine:
I want so badly to release my stronghold on my plan, my way, my calendar. I want to be the kind of Christian who really does believe God holds the future and that even my best guesses are just that. I want to live without anxiety, fear, and deadlines. But it seems that every chance I get, I grab back those pretend reins and allow myself to believe the myth that I’m in control.
Amen to that.
This past week I spent a few days in Florida visiting my parents. I didn't take a lot of pictures while I was there this time around, so instead I'm going to share some from our Thanksgiving trip. I love being outside, in nature, feeling the sun on my face. I appreciate the opportunities I have to get out of the City, to reset, and just be in the moment (and put down my planner).