The Unintended Planner

Inger Taylor

Posted on December 18 2018


I don’t plan.  I’m not a planner. I will admit I have planner envy at times, but really... making plans makes me uncomfortable.  I’m sure there’s a logical psychological explanation for my reluctance to plan.  We could trace it back to my childhood if we wanted to, but why?  I’m a here and now kind of person.  I can usually pull off short term planning, but that’s usually because shit happens that forces planning.  Like my spinal cord tumors situation that took our family from California to New York for a month... that required a shit ton of planning.  But I beg you, please don’t make me pull out a calendar because that makes my skin crawl.  I will start hyperventilating.  Putting things on a calendar is one of my least favorite things to do.  It ranks right up there with making a run to Costco at 3pm on a Sunday.  A wall calendar will send me running for the door.  And don’t even get me started on creating a “to do list.”  That shit will make me breakout in hives.  Most people like to combine a calendar and to do list in one place.  I would go completely bat shit crazy if that were a part of my life.  I would drop out.  As soon as you start telling me where to go and what to do, I’m gone... but not really.


I know, you’re probably thinking this chick has some serious commitment issues, and I would agree, except for the fact the I’ve got four daughters and have been married for almost 19 years.  That has forced the issue of planning and the creation of loose to do lists.  Admittedly some planning and calendar management comes into play with a party of six... it’s unavoidable.  That doesn’t mean I have to like it.  I take it one day at a time, for the most part, and I try my best not to overcommit and load up the calendar.  I’ve got a B.A. and M.Ed., so again, there is evidence of planning and to do lists.  I’m sure if I reflected on my entire life, the evidence of a calendar, planning, and to do lists is there whether I like it or not.


What calendar you ask?  Where is it you ask since you damn well know it’s not on my wall staring back at me sticking its tongue out at me.  It’s an app on my phone that I reluctantly look at once a day because it’s our family calendar and I have to or I will absolutely screw up.  I open it while sipping my morning coffee and while I do I chant over and over in my mind, “no whammy, no whammy, no whammy” because I secretly want the day to be blank.  I already told you looking at it makes me uncomfortable so this shouldn’t surprise you.  I should confess that even when I look at it, I still screw up sometimes. 


What about putting fun things on a calendar?  Nope.  That doesn’t matter.  Even if it’s a fun vacation, I still get uncomfortable.  That’s a weird one, right?  I know, I don’t get it either.  It almost doesn’t matter what area of life it pertains to, planning is not my bag.  I don’t like to plan much past today.  


Don’t misunderstand I’ve always had admiration for planners and people with to do lists... they go places and they get shit done.  I can totally appreciate the advantages of being a planner/list person.  It just isn’t for me.  I screw something up at least once a month because of my inability to plan and make lists.  It’s a miracle I’ve been able to make it this far in life.


Now that I’ve shared all this, I’ve been thinking a little about the future lately.  I think you do a bit more of that when your life as you know it could potentially cease to exist.  I’ve thought more about what I want my girls to know to make it through their lives... some love and advice from their own mother.  I’ve thought about us planning more trips and things for us to do  together as a family.  I’ve thought about the need to do some financial planning so we can send our girls to college and retire one day. 


It’s a lot to think about, but if I do a little bit everyday maybe I’ll actually become an unintended planner.  See that?  I might have just talked myself into it.  I’m already on my way to suckering myself into it.  Who am I trying to BS?!  You and I both know I’m already and unintended planner.  I’ve got it... It’s all about altering my perspective.  Nope.  I know, I need therapy to get to the root cause of my disdain and discomfort for planning.  In the meantime, I’ll be here...



Inger (aka, the unintended planner)

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