A day without plans

I don’t cope very well without having a plan for how to occupy my time.

Today’s learning about myself is just how much I rely on planning and following self imposed rules to manage my anxiety levels. This is no bad thing, it drives me to be both organised and productive. I plan myself into achieving a lot.

My day started with a loose plan for coffee with a friend that didn’t make it to confirmation. No problem, I just needed to figure put what I wanted to do with my day. Therein lies the problem – I am crap at deciding what I want to do on the fly. In fact, I am pretty bad at tuning into what I want to do, full stop.

There are all sorts of reasons for this (may be a subject for another blog post) suffice it to say that what I want to do at any given time is only one of many considerations for what I eventually decide to do. My anxiety is that whatever I want to do is not good enough (other people’s judgments of me) Or that what I want to do reflects more the path of least resistance than something that will add to the grand tapestry of my life (my own judgment of me)…

I hadn’t made that last distinction until I wrote it just now. I definitely need to keep on moving away from “being good enough” and towards “adding to the grand tapestry”. However, sometimes the path of least resistance is okay too. In fact, deciding to honour one over another is a decision I can change at any time. This paragraph is very much me unplannedly thinking out loud, which is interesting as it does link back to the original point of this blog post on a number of levels …

I found myself in a cafe at the end of my adventures today and I had an epiphany where all my low level anxiety about my decision making during the day evaporated! I was wondering if being in the cafe rather than having a coffee at home (always my default option, as it is cheaper) was the right thing to do and I realised I was there just because I wanted to be.

I realised that is what today was about, simply deciding what I wanted to do rather than appealing to the plan or to someone else’s decision or rationalising every last detail. And my instincts about how to guide this are pretty good, if I give myself space to tune into them. I find it hard to do that, to put aside my anxiety about being productive for long enough to allow myself to be creative and see what happens. I find it incredibly restorative when I do, though, and I definitely want to master both planned and unplanned being. It is all about having faith in my decision making ability and not NEEDING to stick to the plan.

I’m working on it … !

2013-12-28 16.39.13
‘Self portrait of overly analytical young woman in a cafe’ 😉

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