I know this seems like the most absurd topic for a blog post, especially for a business wanting to to sell you a planner. (Sorry, the best planner for your family)
I must be nuts!
I am! But not because of that though (haha!).
I chose to write this because a lot of people think that living in the moment means you can’t plan, and that planning means you can’t live in the moment. And whilst both statements can be correct, there is a balance. A way to do both.
I only know this now, and only because I was an over-planner and it was ruining my life.
Can you actually over plan something?
Is overplanning even a real thing?
Yes, there is such a thing as overplanning, and it can have really crappy consequences.
I did it for many years and being able to look back now, I can see all the pain it caused, and not just me but, my whole family.
Overplanning was a coping mechanism for me. It wasn’t because I was a perfectionist (I was far from that), but it was because I was scared.
I was riddled with fear, worried that if I didn’t control every little thing, we would end up with nothing. It wasn’t even that it had to be perfect, it was just that I had to know exactly what was happening and when it was happening or, life as we knew it would end.
As ridiculous as that statement sounds, I had every reason to worry. I felt I had every reason to be scared, it actually happened to us.
Life as we knew it, went kaboom.
This is where it gets a bit raw so bare with me.
In 2012 we lost, what felt like, everything. Hubby had lost his job, I was working part-time because we had just had Bas and were unexpectedly expecting our third child. Our income was nowhere it needed to be anymore. It stayed like this for some time.
We tried a few things to stay afloat, we took a loan to try carry us a through for a while, but the job market just wasn’t great. We took a credit card to help get us through the bills, but Hubby just couldn’t find work. We tried everything to keep life as we knew it.
Then Hubby’s grandmother passed away. She was his everything. He lived with her when they first came to Australia and because of that, they had a really special bond. It was heart-breaking to watch and I could see it adding to the stress and pain of the situation we had found ourselves in.
It got too much, we felt buried beneath our debt with no job in sight. But there was a delivery date quickly approaching. We had no choice but to exit out of our lease, leave our house, pack up our belongings, sell what we could and store the rest.
We signed a debt agreement that was supposed to save us. Instead, it made things so much worse. (Side note: always look into this shit thoroughly, do not make rash decisions when you are at a desperate time in your life!).
We stayed with many family members but as I am sure you can understand, a family of 4.5 is a big stress to come into any household. We couldn’t really maintain a long-term couch. So we went from one to family to another, and another. Until we got back on our feet.
When we finally did get back on our feet, 2 years later, we couldn’t rent anywhere because of the stupid agreement that we had signed. (Have I mentioned not making any rash decisions when you are grieving?)
We did get there in the end, though. With a boot load of perseverance and overplanning. We found our feet and a home once more. At which point the universe thought it would laugh at us again and chuck in a debilitating car accident, but that’s a story for another day!
That’s why, and how, I started over planning. In my head, it felt like the only way to make sure it didn’t happen again was to plan the shit out of everything.
So I did!
I planned every cent of our money, every minute of our hours and every moment of our days. Heck, I even planned time for having fun and bathroom breaks!
It was bad! It was sad.
I was a desperate woman. A scared woman.
It’s funny, one would think that if you planned everything it would be perfect. But it wasn’t. Aside from my crazy control-freak mentality, I was unable to actually live in the moment. I did this for years and years. Through the couch surfing, to the new house to… well, it wasn’t until recently that I stopped overplanning and found a balance.
I learnt that there is a time and a place to measure twice, cut once. Now, I plan what I can and live as much as possible.
I don’t feel the weight of one decision, ruining our life.
I see my plans as a guide, not a map. If I steer off track, we will be ok.