From the moment we began dating at age 16 right up until today with 33+ years of marriage under our collective belts — my husband Mike and I have planned and plotted and figured out our every move. In advance. I’m talking about big events like our wedding, our honeymoon, our first homes, our two children, our vacations and small things like what’s the best vacuum, refrigerator, house paint and so much more. And I’m remembering all the planning that we’ve done to live the best day-to-day lives as a couple and as a family. We strategized every purchase: was it the best price? the best value for the dollar? We planned our every move,trying to leave nothing to “chance.” We’ve been responsible soldiers in the Game of Life.
Ask our kids what I’ve been like their entire lives. They will surely tell you that if you ask their mother, say, what it would take to get a family of four to the Jersey Shore on a sunny day in mid-July I would come out with a mental list of possibilities based on traffic, roads, weather, the vagaries of the human condition and the likelihood of having to make at least one rest area bathroom stop. As they’ve gotten older, I’ve shared the mental rundown that goes on in my head prior to figuring out the best whatever…figuring they could learn from my thought processes. Instead? They pretty much look at me like I’m crazy. I can’t even imagine the looks on their faces if their Dad gave them a verbal rundown of what goes on in his head.
Being thoughtful planners is a way of life for Mike and me. But maybe the kids are onto something. Maybe Mike and I should be more spontaneous.
What stage of life are you in now? Are you living in the now? Or mostly planning for the future? Do you need to loosen up?