S is for Spontaneous Planner

Or is it planning to be spontaneous? Either way, I definitely am a planner, but I need spontaneity.

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I am a control freak. I need to know what’s going to happen as much as I possibly can.

Snake thinks it would be fun to just get in the car and drive for a road trip. Pick a direction and head that way. My brain immediately starts worrying about finding a place to eat and sleep. What if I grab clothes for the wrong climate? Yes, all of these things are fixable, but I don’t want to spend $400/night for a hotel room that isn’t clean or safe. And why should I buy new clothes when I have perfectly good ones at home?

I’m the person who has to start packing several days in advance of a trip. The “medicine bag” for just in case. It has come in handy every trip. Rarely for the same things, but who wants to run to the drugstore in the middle of the night? Clothes for every weather pattern? There are trips where I overpack so much it is ridiculous. And others where I wear almost everything because of crazy PNW weather.

I’m in awe of people who travel with one tiny suitcase. How do you do it? I’ve heard people say they go on three week trips with one bag–do you spend days in the laundromat? Or am I just a bigger klutz and spill stuff on me more than usual?

I’m also the person who checks out the menu of a new restaurant before we go there. I like to know what my options will be. Plus, I’m really not a fan of eating the same food for lunch and dinner. I need variety.

Anxiety is my companion–and I know I’m not alone. If I am unsure of basic things during the day, it’s really hard for me to enjoy the fun parts. It’s bad enough when I have plans in place and everything is going on that track. Throw me a curveball and I need to find something to latch onto that is solid.

So I plan.

Snake just recently planned a long weekend for us next month. He did it in the best possible way for me. He planned the transportation, the hotel and one activity that he knew I would love. And gave me the entire pile of printed out emails for me to see what we were doing and how.

Now, I get to be excited about all of the things we might decide to do while we are there. That kind of spontaneity is something that I thrive on. We have the entire day to just enjoy and do what feels good.

It’s easy to get stuck in the day-to-day planning and routine. I know that I need that routine and it keeps me productive and lowers my anxiety levels. But too much of that isn’t a good thing. We all learned that last year and even quite a bit of this year.

So, I guess a planner. Who needs to be spontaneous. I found this quote which sums it up nicely:

“I adore spontaneity, providing it is carefully planned.”

And, yes, I do rehearse phone calls. Plus write down every bit of information I might need so I don’t have to remember it off the top of my head. Believe me, that’s never going to happen.

10 Replies to “S is for Spontaneous Planner”

  1. Did you ever see the movie Captain Ron?

    Before they leave, and everyone is throwing monkey wrenches in his “let’s go sail this boat I inherited” idea, Martin Short’s character is like, “I’ve worked REALLY HARD to PLAN a SPONTANEOUS vacation and you’re just… !!!”

    *laugh*

    I get where he’s coming from.

    For me, the amount of planning-ahead required totally depends on who I’m traveling with. If it’s family (parents, sister, kiddos) it’s very different than if it’s just me & my hubs. Also it depends on if we’re driving or flying, if we’ve been there before or not, if it’s summer time or winter, etc.

    But yeah. I get this. 🙂

  2. My good friend SWL is a control freak too, but I’m more like snake. We have found a way to indulge both of our traits.

    Out of curiosity, when you practise your calls, what happens if someone responds in a different way to what you were expecting? The few times I have rehearsed, I’ve been caught off guard and ended up feeling like a complete tit! So reverted to winging it entirely. It would be nice to be able to plan for important calls though.

    1. I write down all of the information possible. Lol. I despise phone calls and avoid them whenever possible 🤣

  3. Hi, I’m Brigit and I’m a neurotic over-planner. (Everyone say “Hi” to Brigit.”) I totally get this. I am working on learning to be a bit more spontaneous…or at least more relaxed and less anxious when things aren’t planned down to the detail. The older I get, the easier that seems to be. I’m getting a little more flexible and less antsy about not knowing all. the. things. But I still don’t feel comfortable going into an unknown situation without some sort of preparation (i.e. a phone call or difficult conversation).

    1. Lol! Hi Brigit.

      I try too but I also know myself enough to know that I probably won’t change a lot. It’s easier to overplan and not make myself anxious than it is to keep trying what doesn’t work 🤷

  4. I understand your concern. I also love it when everything is thought out and prepared as much as possible. The quote you found is great.

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