“Failing to plan is planning to fail” – Alan Lakein
Planning is in my blood: I love it! I can’t help it, but being organised is my quickest road to instant happiness. Ticking off tasks on my to-do lists always make positive sensations run through my body and, mostly, my brains. Go endorphins!
So why have I been feeling down lately? How come none of my chores seem achievable? Have I suddenly lost my planning-spark?
My obsession for being extremely organised entered my life during my depression. I was in therapy and my psychologist advised me to find something to do that would give me instant gratification in the form of a direct visual result.
So I started cleaning my room.
Before this, my room used to be a total mess! I was notorious for keeping opened presents strewn all over my bedroom floor for months, leaving only a small path from my bed to the door.
But after that little one-on-one with my therapist, I decided the most fruitful way of taking this new challenge on was by cleaning my room. And what did I find! Apart from a lot of clutter and dust, I noticed a figurative weight got lifted off my shoulders.
Since keeping my room clean helped me keep my head clear, I quickly linked being tidy to being happy.
My personal mantra became: “If my room is tidy, so is my head.” I kept this up for some years and eventually went overboard: everything had its own place and if the position of an item was even a smidgen off, it had to be corrected immediately. All labelled items suddenly had to face label forward or I’d not be able to forget about it. And so on.
I started to drive myself crazy, then, like spreading a virus, drove everyone else crazy by moving through people’s homes and putting everything in order there, too. MY order.
I was finally able to recognise I had a problem when I got home from Ireland four years ago and my parents had had the first floor re-carpeted. Meaning all items from my room had been removed and later put back.
Of course, nothing was in its correct place! It was nearly midnight and I was exhausted from my travels, but still I couldn’t sleep until I had restored order in my room.
That was then. Today, I am doing much better. Or so I thought.
Because even if I am no longer obsessed with where my belongings are to the centimetre exact, I do plan too much. I forget about spontaneity and get upset when I am unable to finish my daily, weekly or monthly chores.
I still get a kick out of ticking off tasks, but I feel I need more time to release. Not everything is set in stone and it is okay if I don’t plan what I want or feel I MUST do for every minute of the day.
I need to relax more.
So that’s what I plan to do 😉
Are you a planner or do you take it day by day?
End of Heart One
Planning versus Relaxing – Heart Two will appear on Thursday, December 6th
…Or WILL it? 😉