Monday, November 23, 2015

You Need a Plan, Stan

I'm still in shock.  When you spend years talking and planning for something, the actual realization of it all sometimes sneaks up on you.  We are moving next month!  We didn't intend to until next year some time, but THE house that fit ALL the criteria for a reasonable price fell into our laps.  It was a fast, scary decision, but it was a good one.  We're really excited - except for J.  He wanted our next house to have an upstairs and the new one does not.  Sad story, but he'll get over it!  Anyway, we're really excited, except for the impromptu packing and planning right before the holidays.  We close in 3 weeks or so!  It is all so surreal that I sometimes take unnecessarily long pauses before I decide to do something because "wait, I'm moving in a month, should I bother with this?"  Still, getting to start anew with a better space for our family's needs and more outdoor space is pure joy!

The interesting thing that struck me was how valuable having a plan  or a goal has been and continues to be.  Some people scoff at the idea of a plan because 'things NEVER go as planned' and 'you CAN'T predict the future', right?  That really assumes that in having a plan I expect the plan to be exactly carried out.  There's a fun saying that goes something like "Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss you'll land in the stars."  Sounds sweet, but that is the kind of planning I do.  Plan to lose 15 pounds.  Even if you only lose 10, you still lost 10 pounds!  We had a list of must haves for the new house and did not intend on making an offer on a new one until we were ready to put our current home on the market.  Since we had such specific guidelines, when the right house came along we knew it and jumped on it!  Technically things didn't go according to plan because our house isn't ready and even if it were, it's November.  But, see the stars we landed in? We found the perfect house with all of our important criteria and hit a major milestone in our little family.



When Jude was first born, I knew I wanted to try homeschooling.  Even when he was 6 months old I started planning for his next stage of development like a teacher.  Did I do everything perfectly and become super organized with every craft and developmental activity instinctively designed for his current needs? Nope.  But it was the beginning of my own shaping as a mother and teacher.  The idealistic plans that sometimes never even came close to reality got us in the ballpark and made me aware of what needed to come next.  Plans point us in a good direction and often give us a big push off the couch.  If you're off  the couch and moving, then you're lapping everyone on the couch, right?  Maybe you really desire a stress-free holiday or a holiday season where you save money rather than overspend.  Plan for those things.  Want a deeper relationship with your spouse or a de-cluttered house by next year.  Think ahead and schedule things toward that end.  Even if/when you don't stick to the plan perfectly or life happens, you'll still be better off.  When we plan, we think through the problems and possible solutions - something I often don't bother with until it's too late.

Since we're moving in the middle of the busiest month of the year, I'm still struggling to get a handle on a good plan for how to manage it all.  But see - at least I'm thinking about it all beforehand and not having a panic attack the week before because I hadn't considered any of it before.  There will still be panic attacks, I'm sure, but they won't be a surprise!  In most every case, something is better than nothing and starting with any kind of plan (even if it doesn't come close to reality) is far better than not having thought any of it through.

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