Hi, I’m a Recovering Planning Addict

Whenever anyone comes for a visit, I go into hyper planning mode. I do the same thing for birthdays, anniversaries, and vacations; I feel obligated to arrange everything to the hilt. I spend hours on the internet noting times and addresses, reading reviews on Trip Advisor and Urban Spoon. I imagine how it all just has to go. As a result, the anxiety levels rise, disappointment inevitably creeps in (some things don’t go exactly as planned, after all), and I often miss out on enjoying the moment I am in.

I think there are two reasons why I do this. One is that I tend to measure my worth based on what I accomplish. If I plan a good trip then I am good person. Another is that I am a quality time kind of person; I feel most loved when someone plans an event for the two of us to share, so I naturally tend to want to do the same for others. I highly suggest two books, The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee and The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, which helped me understand myself in some important ways.

My parents just left after a week long visit. I planned, and some things worked out and some didn’t. There was a moment when I asked my husband in concern, “Are they having a good time?” I worried that we weren’t doing enough meaningful activities. He assured me for the 100th time that spending money and following the plan were not necessary to have a good time. In the end, my favorite moments of the trip were unexpected and unplanned:

* We were waiting in a phone store and I was trying to find another T-mobile location on my phone. Suddenly mom started saying everything I was saying at (almost) the same moment. She watched my lips with a glint in her eye and mocked me as well as any 10-year boy could. She tormented me to the point where I actually whined, “Dad, mom’s mocking me!” We laughed hysterically. Nicely played, Mom.

* A day or two after they arrived, I told my dad sternly that he needed to update his look. We went to a Ross and I picked out handfuls of pants for him to try on. The impromptu fashion show was a riot, and he so appreciated my help. Thanks for being open, Dad!

So I’m starting to learn that while planning activities is good, going with the flow and enjoying the moments in between can be even better.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ellaztre
    Jul 28, 2014 @ 12:48:37

    You are so right; enjoying the moments with the ones you love are the greatest moments ever! I enjoy reading your blog!


  2. Auntie D
    Aug 14, 2014 @ 21:32:02

    Hallelujah!!!! Get over yourself and have fun girl. So sorry I missed the fashion show. My imagination is running wild about it and I am laughing hysterically as I type!


  3. Elise
    Aug 22, 2014 @ 20:30:23

    Oh, Reek, you never had a chance. You Moms are Virgo’s and our most defining traits are over analyzing and over planning just about everything. Add that to your own personality traits, and whoola! Mom and I are so “over the top planners”, and I’m sure it got you! You’re most familiar with our propensity to; pre-plan, plan, re-plan, investigate, problem solve, organize, research, review & dissect every freakin detail, and then question it all. It’s exhausting. Thank goodness It’s never too late to learn. I admire you and really appreciate this teachable moment. Thanks for reminding me to get out of my head and live in the moment, and congrats that you caught on sooner than later.


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