Giving up planning.

Since I last posted, I discovered (through another google search) that Obsessive-Compulsive Planning Disorder is a real thing.

All of a sudden, I felt fewer warm fuzzies towards my tendencies to plan and plan and re-plan and think ahead and plan and make three different plans in case one doesn’t work and an alternative for those. Then forget all the plans because I didn’t write them down and make a whole new plan from scratch.

In fact, it made me want to set aside my planning and pretend that all those symptoms didn’t fit me.

Deep breath in, deep breath out. I can live my life without a plan. Well, sort of. I can live without a five-year plan. I can live without a one-year plan. I can’t live without my day planned out, but that’s a different story.

I’d like to say in contrast to all the parallel symptoms I have with OCPD that I like to fly by the seat of my pants sometimes. And that most of my life has ended up going completely differently than I planned.

Thought I was going to be a teacher.

Thought I would go to school on a coast.

Thought I’d go to Scotland to study abroad.

Thought I’d be a Communications major.

Thought I’d graduate in 2016.

Never thought I’d have three jobs in college.

Never expected to be a book copyeditor by the age of 19.

Never expected to have seen nine countries before my 21st birthday.

Never expected to see God flip all my plans on their heads. As often as I think I’m a compulsive planner, I remember that my planning is fruitless. Some people say you shouldn’t plan without God’s involvement, but I’ve found in my life that I’m really just banned from planning at all.

I live in a kennel (though my kennel is big and includes all of my present reality) and am not allowed to jump into my actual future until 5 seconds before it strikes. Then the gate is opened and I scurry around in my new territory.

I think puppies and I have a lot in common.

The space beyond the gate is so much more spacious than what I had imagined and planned. It’s always brighter and more abundant and crazier than I could have planned.

So perhaps my limited planning does have a purpose, in helping me contrast my small ability to give myself opportunity and imagine the possibilities with the options God comes up with that I never even considered.

So I’m curbing my planning and waiting for the abundance to show itself. I’m halting my Google binges and asking God to maybe give me a hint of what He had in mind – or to at least give me the faith and patience I need to wait and to prepare me in the meantime.

I guess you could say this Lent marks me giving up planning. I didn’t plan to say that at the beginning of this post, but it seems appropriate and perhaps something I should practice as a sign of trust and faith. More prayer, less planning.


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