Well yesterday was definitely not how I had planned it to be. Sunday is always the day where I start to look at the week ahead and realize how much there is to get done. Suddenly all those chunks of free time I thought I’d have started to swell with too many things to do. Its hard to fit it all in. Therefore today’s Gratefulness Challenge post has naturally themed itself “How to get it all done.”
1. The unexpected: I am a planner by nature. I like being organized and knowing where I’m going and what I’m doing. In the last year though I have slightly changed my perspective on the future.
When I graduated last April the most common question I would get was “So what’s your plan?” to which I started answering, “I don’t have one.” I wasn’t saying this to be smug, and it wasn’t that I didn’t have goals or dreams I was just tired of always knowing exactly what was going to happen in my life. I had spent 22 years knowing precisely what the months ahead would look like and that way of moving through life didn’t seem appropriate anymore.
So I chose not to plan and instead opened myself up to the infinite possibilities of the future. I have had one of the most amazing years because of adopting this new mentality. I have had so many exciting opportunities come my way which I never would have even considered as being options for me. Because the reality is that you have no idea what is going to be going on this time next year. So why try and plan where you want to end up off of today’s reality? By the time you get there the world will be an entirely different place. I work under the belief that the person I am capable of being is beyond what my mind is capable of conceiving.
I still love planning and being organized, I don’t think that will ever change. What has changed though is that I am more willing to throw my plan away when the unexpected happens. Unexpected is just another way of saying awesome and new.
2. Lists: I love making lists! Do lists, shopping lists, research lists, what-to-bring lists, I use them all. Sometimes I have so much to do and think about that I don’t really know where to start. My head is spinning with thoughts and tasks and I end up worried that I’m forgetting something important. Once I write it down I suddenly feel so much clearer. I can add to the list as things come to mind and I can refer back to it when I get overwhelmed. If I’m really stuck I can even itemize my list from most to least important.
A lot of days until I make a list I end up waisting my time and then start freaking out when I realize how much of the day is gone. It’s hard to stay on task without some kind of structure or deadline and that is what a list is for me. I also feel really accomplished when I get to cross something off the list. Sometimes I put things on my lists that I’ve already done just so I can get to cross something off. It’s super silly but that initial check mark makes me feel good and gives me the drive to go cross something else off the list.
3. Reality checks: The easiest person to lie to is myself. The mind games I can play with myself are astounding. I should be a conman.There always comes a point though where the truth stares me straight in the face almost as if to say “Ok, you done playing these games yet?” At first I feel really frustrated and ashamed, because I pride myself on being a very honest person. I believe that honesty is a huge indicator of how much you respect and trust someone. Therefore it always throws me for a loop when I realize I’ve been dishonest with myself. How can I be struggling to respect and trust my own person? That can’t be right.
Here’s the thing though, sometimes we just aren’t ready to accept something, especially when it’s something about ourselves. Living in denial is a coping mechanism. We are trying, usually unsuccessfully, to protect ourselves from something. So when I have those moments of realization, after I scream and shout at myself for being so stupid, I do my best to congratulate myself on being ready to admit something new. We’d all love to be perfect, but that just isn’t possible. Admitting our weakness only makes us stronger. I strive not for perfection, but for greater enlightenment, humility and resilience. Falling is inevitable and important. I try and embrace the downs because they make the highs feel so much higher.