If you know me very well, you probably know that I like plans. If you’ve read my blog at all, you probably could have even inferred that based on my incessant list-making addiction.
Every week, I plan out the meals for the upcoming week. I grocery shop for every meal, and I have a pretty good idea of which night I will make which item.
People coming over? I calculate exactly how much food everyone will likely consume and then I practically double it (just in case).
In college, I started keeping track of things in my mortar board (aka: monthly planner). In fact, I actually kept them all when I graduated because they read almost like a diary of memories made – I was pretty meticulous – and I just couldn’t part with them. (P.S. Don’t tell my husband this, as he already thinks I have a mild case of hoarding…and definitely don’t tell my parents whose garage is still half full of boxes of my things that I have yet to come pick up so they’ll have room for things like say, ohhh, their cars?) But ever since then, it’s almost like I’m incapable of functioning without my work calendar, iPhone calendar and hand-written lists and reminder notes. I make plans and I follow through with them.
And all of that brings me to my current topic: adapting.
I’m not making any promises here, so don’t go calling me out when I don’t live up to this, BUT…I really am trying to learn to adapt a little better when things don’t go quite like I planned.
Not that I throw fits or anything like that (usually, at least), in fact, most people would probably not even know I was annoyed by a change of plans (OR maybe they would and I don’t hide it quite as well as I’d like to think…) but I do tend to feel highly stressed when my plans get changed. I need to work on that – and here’s why.
Life happens. Simple as that. Honestly, Forrest Gump probably put it a little better with his bumper sticker claim-to-fame, but I’m doing my best to keep this blog PG because I happen to know that my grandmother often reads it (Hi, Grandma!) and I’d like it to be grandma approved.
But seriously… stuff comes up all the time. Change is one of the few certainties in life. Sure, some changes are bigger than others. And yes, sometimes change is worth worrying and fretting over. That’s not what I’m talking about today. I’m talking about letting really insignificant things completely ruin my day simply because I’m overreacting.
Oh, you invited five extra people over for dinner tomorrow night? “No problem,” I say. “It will be fun!” I say. Reality: panic attack that we’ll run out of appetizers.
Oh, the electrical problem we thought would be fixed in a day’s time so I could have my entire living room decorated and perfect within a few days is actually going to take a couple weeks? “No big deal, the wires all over the floor really complement the carpet and new furniture nicely. Plus I like being required to wear shoes so I don’t end up with metal in my feet.” Reality: silently cringe every time I walk in the door.
Oh, I mentioned that I love my job? Guess what, the company is splitting into TWO companies, and for the next several weeks/months, you’ll have no idea which one you’re going to! “How exciting, lots of new opportunities!” Reality: constantly playing out in my head every scenario and reason why I’ll end up at one or the other.
Here’s what I realized recently: THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS. And I have got to stop worrying so much. Life is too short to spend it stressed out about things that don’t really matter. And so, a note to myself:
There aren’t enough jalapeno poppers for every guest to have two? Guess what…they aren’t going to starve. Nor remember in a few weeks’ time that those poppers ever even existed. Enjoy the presence of your guests and stop worrying about whether the food lives up to everyone’s expectations.
Your house is falling apart around you a little at a time? Count your blessings that you HAVE a home and get over the fact that it doesn’t look like it just fell out of a Pinterest photo. (Another thing…pictures of homes on Pinterest – they’re DESIGNED to look picture perfect…for that very picture. That’s not real life. People’s homes just don’t look like that all the time. So stop expecting yours to. And additionally – stop apologizing for the fact that your home isn’t perfect. Give yourself a chance to get settled.)
Your job description is a little cloudy at the moment? Be thankful you HAVE A JOB. Wondering what you’ll be doing and where you’ll be doing it doesn’t really matter, because either way you’re fortunate enough to know that you’ll have a paycheck, a savings and the ability to go see a doctor without going broke. And that’s a really big deal.
And there you have it. This is what I’m working on. Changing my thought process…adapting when the situation at hand calls for it. And being okay with adapting, because after all, life doesn’t always need to be taken so damn seriously. (Sorry for the cuss word, Grandma.)
SO, am I going to stop using my calendars and checklists? No. But I am going to try to be okay with moving things around once in a while.