Growth & Change: Time

12:19 PM

Photo by: CreateHer Stock

In the last few years, I have become fiercely protective over my time. I am a planner. I always have been. My calendar is often set at least a month in advance. My friends and I like to joke that there are two kinds of people: the people who plan for the moment and the people who live in the moment. For my friends who are not planners, I offer them structure when we're thinking ahead for dates, trips, etc. And in return, they offer me the opportunity to let go of my need to know what's going on and do something spontaneous from time to time.

In my early twenties, I had a boss who tried to convince me that planning leads to road blocks and doesn't allow you to live freely. True story. Bizarre, right? But since I've always grown up with a desire to please people, I tried to let go of the planner in me and just try things spontaneously. It did not end well. Most of the time, I was miserable trying to adapt to the rules of lets-not-plan-lets-live-in-the-moment-land all the time. I'd go into work and never know what we'd be doing that day. There were days that I'd go in and be told that we were doing a major event that Friday (and it was Tuesday) that had no plan whatsoever. I'd then have to scramble and think through how to make it successful. Week to week, I never knew what my schedule would be so I couldn't plan time with friends or family. I lived in that world for two years before finally saying, "Enough."

When I look back on that time, I realize that I learned a lot. I became very protective over my time. And in that protection, I learned three valuable things:

1. My boss was wrong.
First and foremost, it was wrong of that boss to try and force me to become more like him. As a leader, he should have encouraged my strengths and leaned into them so that I could produce the best possible work. I could have helped him plan out the company calendar for three months within a week! I'm very good at thinking through the details and the necessary components of a thing, then spacing out the timeline for completion. There is no 'one way' of living. I don't have to rip up my calendar in order to live into someone else's idea of freedom. Let me be me! We could have worked a lot better together.

2. Our differences make us stronger.
The most lasting thing I learned, however, was that it's okay for humans to be different from one another. You're a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person? Cool, well I'm a planner. If we have to work together, how might we do it well? We definitely can learn from one another, as my friends and I have done. I don't have to become you and you don't have to become me. But we can still help each other without needing to convince each other to cross over to our beliefs/way of life. There is so much 'live in the moment' rhetoric in our overly saturated world. For some people, that totally works. There are maybe some of you reading right now who would be perfect for the job mentioned above. But that's not me. And that's okay. I choose to plan. And I can still plan for tomorrow while living today.

There are blessings in both planning and living spontaneously.

3. Be who you are.
Live into who you are. I'm a planner. I am protective of my time because I know myself. I need time to meditate in the morning. I need time for yoga/pilates. I need time with my husband. I need time with my friends. I need a schedule. I crave order. And there is nothing wrong with that.

I don't need to make space for someone else's spontaneous lack of planning.

But I can if I want to. That's the key. There's such freedom in embracing who you are and living into that. It allows you to live with the ebbs and flows of life with grace. I like being who I am. And that's that.


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