Thursday, November 5, 2009

Planning Addiction

I admit it; I'm a planning addict. I make lists. My lists have lists-no kidding! So when I read this from Slow Time, I definitely could relate. Waverly Fitzgerald says, "There is something comforting about being able to do everything I want on paper, even if these ideals don't often translate into reality. But I also recognize the absurdity of imagining what I want to do, rather than actually doing it."

She goes on, "Often we collect stuff which represents the things we want to do: we clip recipes we never try (because we're too busy to cook), collect travel brochures for places we'll never visit, buy every writing book we see (though we rarely have time to read them, much less write a novel). Unless you actually integrate your desires into your life, these objects are just placeholders and often silent reproaches, reminding you constantly of what is missing from your schedule."

I'm guilty of stuff like this. Instead of getting down to the hard task of actually writing something for submission, I'll buy another book about writing instead. That makes me feel that I'm doing something about writing. I'll buy art supplies such as paint, paper, videos, books--anything as long as I don't actually have to sit down and try to paint. That's much harder than all the preparation.

Same goes for making lists. If I get my life organized on paper it makes me feel good about it.

But enough is enough. I now realize that this is what I do, and I don't want to live in "getting ready to do something big" mode any longer. I do get a lot of different things done, but I imagine what I COULD get done if I'd stop writing it down, thinking about it, and just do it.

I've made the best possible daily schedule I can think of. I've been tweaking on it since September. I need to actually follow it now and see what I can get accomplished. I've factored in times for music, writing, and art; the three things I always feel get pushed aside. I followed it exactly one day this week and was amazed by all I accomplished.

I'm still slightly rebellious about such a regimented schedule even though I do get lots done. I keep coming back to wanting to have a 'summer frame of mind' all year long. As long as I'm homeschooling, I don't think that's possible.

Sometimes I think I think too much! I just need to turn off my brain and get busy.


Anonymous said...

I have been thinking along the same lines. Although I'm not a list maker (except for groceries and menus), I'm an over thinker. I think it's okay to enjoy the thinking process :), BUT......thinking needs to move to doing at some point.


Katy said...

Preach on, sister! (You nailed me. Especially the buying art supplies part.)

Rowan said...

I've always been a maker of lists too but they are a means to an end, I not only make them I do the things on them as well. If what I need to do is written down it clears my mind and there's room there for more interesting thoughts than 'must remember to buy flour and milk, got to fill the birdfeeders, need to get wool for Georg'e hat' and so on. In my book lists are 'A Good Thing' :):)