Six steps ahead

Six steps ahead

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.  This is something that has been said over and over again in my workplace since I joined the corporate world over 10 years ago and probably for many decades before that.  Our environment and the nature of the work I do, requires project plans, timelines and strict deadlines.  My A-type personality finds this quite comforting. I feel in control of things when I can plan my days and weeks in advance, set aside chunks of time to work on certain deliverables, see friends, spend time with family and tick off the tasks as they get done.

I’ve learnt, however, that life definitely does not work according to a pre-defined project plan and definitely does not always stick to timelines or (often unrealistic) deadlines. There was no greater wake up call to this reality than becoming a mother.  The plans are more detailed and calendar events more frequent.  The lists for groceries, gifts, parties and other to-dos are now two pages instead of one.  But suddenly, being late is our new normal, missing birthdays and anniversaries is something I now have to apologise for more often than I’d like and sticking to week day or weekend commitments is sometimes challenging.

Thankfully, my husband is far more relaxed about these things than I am, which is probably why God chose us for each other.  He trusts that being a bit late will not mean we will be the last people to arrive (he’s usually right – there is generally at least one other family that arrives after us, with kicking and screaming kids!).  He reassures that a last minute change of plan is not the end of the world and can be managed with little fanfare.

I’m slowly learning to take it as it comes and allow the calendar and plans to be a bit more flexible, because it usually works out in the end anyway.  Whilst the planning and lists are necessary to keep me sane and my family all entertained, fed and in good health, the flip side of the coin is what’s really key – being aware and alert in the now, being spontaneous and appreciating the moments that make up today and add up to tomorrow, next week and next month.  Planning and being six steps ahead means very little if we are so focussed on then, that we miss out on now.


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