I like to have a plan. I feel better, safer, more prepared, when I have a plan. I like to know what is next on the agenda. Some people might say that this makes me a bit of a control freak…I’m not going to lie, they would not be wrong. I lived the first thirty years of my life with absolutely no plan, whatsoever, and that is just no good, either. I can kind of relax, you know, when I know that I have this long until we do this thing…
I have been in a relationship with someone for a very, very long time (more about that later) who is totally okay with “going with the flow” and just sort of “seeing what happens”, which, as you can probably imagine, tends to drive me out of my MIND. There have been times over the past million (five) years that we have not seen eye to eye on this particular subject. There have been times when his laid back-ness has driven me into a frenzy of control freaky-ness that has been nothing short of astounding.
Guess how far that got me?
Lately, I have been trying to relax a little bit (“For Christ’s Sake, Courtney!” says his voice in my head.) and be a little more open to understanding the possibility that maybe things will be okay even if I am not corralling everyone into their proper places. This weekend, we reached a very nice compromise- I went to an undisclosed location in California, where it is actual summer right now, rather than this gloomy, fogged in crap we get here on the coast, and I sat by a pool, in the sun, with a book, and I relaxed. I watched my two year old daughter swimming (or bobbing, actually, with her floaties and her little plastic blow up ring) with her father, and my sixteen year old lounging next to me, giving all of the teenaged boys- of which there were lots at this hotel, for some reason- whiplash when they walked by and saw her in a bikini. I just lay there and watched them turn brown. I literally did nothing. In a funny twist of fate, I had also forgotten my phone charger, so my phone was dead, keeping me from stress inducing phone calls and emails. No Facebook, no texting, NOTHING. Sometimes I did jump in the pool to cool off. Other than that, nothing.
“What’s mama doing?” I heard my two year old ask her father.
“She’s laying out in the sun.” He answered. How funny that my kid sees me in that state so seldom that she has to ask her dad what, exactly, it is that I am doing.
The part where the compromise comes in is this: I found that I could ask some very important questions about our lives and future together in that atmosphere, with no heat behind my words, and get relatively satisfactory answers, with very little prodding and prying at all. It’s kind of hard to get all heated when it’s that…well, hot, and you are that mellow.
Another valuable thing I took from the time spent by the pool is that I am much more capable of coming up with solutions on my own when my mind is quiet and not being hassled every five seconds by another worry or alert from my phone. I made some important decisions over the course of the past few days. I came home tired, but also feeling very rested.
I still like to have a plan. My life operates at it’s finest when I am working towards a goal, or towards a set of goals. I like having a schedule, and I like having some idea of what each day holds for me. But I think it is best if I exercise that control over ME, and not expect everyone else to fall into my agenda like neat little puzzle pieces. That is very frustrating, for everyone, and generally requires the use of a hammer to make those pieces fit- that would be me, playing the hammer. Everything is not always going to fall into place, especially if you are very attached to your idea of what “in place” is.
My goal now is to leave some space in the puzzle for other people to be what they need to be. I think I will up my chances of things going well considerably, don’t you? So, I still have a plan…it’s to be okay with whatever happens next. I’m sure it will take a while to relinquish my imaginary control over everything, but that’s good. It gives me something to work on!