Monday, November 14, 2016

Fail To Plan.... Plan To Fail

Empty nesting requires a great deal of planning. One minute this empty nest seemed so far in the future and the next minute, the only bedroom being used is the one you share with your husband. It happens fast and planning is essential. Each part of life requires planning. However, planning  must be padded with a dash of serendipity. 

What did not need any planning at all was falling in love with my Jack. How do you plan who you fall in love with? In your heart, you know that this is the man you want to go through life with. It is just that simple. If you doubt your heart, if you're in doubt at all, then this guy isn't the one. However, I knew Jack was the one from the get go. 

So without the falling in love part, I have always been a planner. In my career, planning was one of my favorite parts of the job. Planning a wedding was great fun although I had to operate within a budget and I did that well. Planning the first nesting apartment was a little tougher. I wanted pretty things, not a new vacuum cleaner. Yes, I knew that I needed that new appliance, but I wanted always something more. Wedding gift money was spent on necessities and planning became my wish list. I began a notebook divided into sections listing my wants for our new home. 

Then came motherhood and my planning continued in earnest. All the needs of a baby, all the decisions made from planning were now front and center. Planning is mothering and mothering takes planning. 

My career required lots of planning and to be honest, that planning was one of the highlights. 

Then came retirement planning. Actually, that planning came early in our work life. We lived on less than what we made saving for retirement. I remember thinking I needed to plan on what I would do with my time once I stopped and I am still to this day working on that dilemma. Any help would be great appreciated from you.

We downsized to a lovely little carriage house defined by the builder as a home having all the things a big house has only smaller. Planning continued as we moved from a big city house to our new carriage house. So I loved planning the arrangement of our belongings in all this new space .......... just us, no others! 

Planning for travel began and we were humming along until that fateful day in September 2001. We lived apart for two years as Jack served and I remained in the new house ....... alone for two years with occasional visits to one another. Now this was not in the plan at all. Then came the big move across our country as military service continued which required more planning. 

So here we are now, early retired, living in our little home and planning still continues. Jack just organized the kitchen with my approval because he is doing more and more of the cooking. 

I do know what John Lennon says about planning! He said life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans. I try really hard to face forward daily putting energy into the things I find important. Facing forward, standing with your guy is the very best kind of planning. 

Are you a planner? Can you put aside plans and be spontaneous too?  

Thanks, L


  1. Hi Meredith, great post! I do plan on a small scale, things like big functions would totally stress me out though and I would be hopeless lol.

    I do have ocd tendencies so spontaneity can sometimes cause anxiety depending on what I had planned.


  2. Lovely post Meredith. I don't tend to plan but Bear does. He writes a list each night of what we will be doing the next day. Most times things go to plan but at times there is a spanner thrown into the works so things go pear shaped.

    Hugs Lindy xx

  3. Hi Meredith, I am a planner. We too have been lucky enough to have taken early retirement. Life now seems to whiz by! We do make plans, we both say though that we have no idea how we found time to go to work, we are so busy! Mind you I do love our lazy moments :)
    love Jan, xx

  4. Love this little retrospective look at planning, Mere. I, too, am a planner. As a child I loved to make lists. Books, vacations, toys - goodness, maybe things have not changed that much! Well, perhaps the toys are different.

    Sometimes for me, though, planning is just my way to control things. Sam makes me slow down, and he takes control. When I set aside my own plan, that is when I am truly the most submissive and the most spontaneous, too.

    Recently I wrote a post that I titled, "Sometimes a Plan is Just a List of Things That Don't Happen." Life seems to have its own plan, too. It can bring us great joy or great sorrow. There are times when just being thankful for the people you love is enough. Maybe, that is the Bigger Plan.

    Thoughts From Ella

  5. Hmmmm.... I can plan. I do well in certain aspects..... however I'm a fly by the seat of my pants person as well.
    I think I was much more of a planner early on in my life but my Scotsmans job makes that much more difficult. Now I go with the flow!!

  6. M,
    I think I would fall under the category of the plan is in my head and as long as no one derails me from my thoughts I'm good. Does that count as a plan?

    Actually, most things are planned around here or they do NOT happen. That's just the way life is...

  7. Hi Meredith, :) Love your post!

    Planning has changed for me with the times. When our four kids were little, and I was working, there always had to be a plan set up. It would have been impossible to go from day to fay without one. At one time we had four kids in four different schools. That was a challenge! Things ran smoothly. I have to say that there were plenty of fun days when we planned to have no plans. Those were a treat!

    In recent years, all plans have been... juggled, changed, rearranged, and even left aside, as we have meet some of life's challenges. Plans are good to have, but you never know what is going to be thrown in your lap!

    Rob and I are empty nesters now. That is new. Rob is home, looking for work, things are suddenly quiet around here. We tend to be fairly spontaneous about plans. I have to say though, sometimes I think I need to add more structure to my days. There are a lot of things that I would like to do, but I often find the day over, and I have not done many of them. I like Lindy's idea of making a plan for the day, whether it is followed through or not.

    Summers vacations are the best. Plan to get to the beach! Plan some nice summer drinks, and dinner! Many hugs,

    <3 Katie

  8. Great post, Mere...Don't remember ever being real big on planning...always had a calendar with everyone's schedules and deadlines but other than that...I always went with the flow. Yes, Matthew was a planner so he and I did bump heads on that particular facet of life...I absolutely agree with John Lennon's thoughts on planning and used to quote it at my tushie's regret! ;)

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

  9. OMG!! Just what Sir and I are facing right now and not necessarily in a good way. All my life I have been a planner. I am vey OCD and can easily become upset when things are not going as "planned" in my world. I would say it is the single most reason why Sir and I do not see eye to eye. He is a spur of the moment guy and takes things as they come and adjusts accordingly. I can admit that while I thought about retirement, I did not plan for it because I really was not sure if that day would ever come as it did unexpectedly this year. Along with my retirement I have had to learn to accept and follow Sir's lead in many areas of our life. And while I frequently disagree in theory, Sir's decisions are most often ultimately the right ones and the ones that have made me the happiest. Oh we are still having our moments for sure where TTWD is playing a huge role in our transformation and I don't always agree with that either, but it is what we do and because it works for us it strengthens our relationship. Great post as always Meredith.

  10. Sometimes if there is not a plan then nothing happens so the plan sparks the motivation. Other times it gets in the way of other things. I am a list maker and a planner but I try to leave some room for spontaneity though it doesn't always happen. Can you plan spontaneity??? Okay, back to my list of things to do or I will happily lazily let the morning get away from me with nothing to show for it. :-) Hugs

  11. I am definitely a planner, but I really enjoy being able to be spontaneous! With have a little one yet at 8 years old, it's not easy, so the extent of my and my hubby's spontaneity remains in the bedroom when he's at school;) But you can bet your booty, when he's grown and out of the house, we totally are planning to make up for it by traveling more and seeing the world!:)

  12. I love to plan and make lists, set goals and check things off. But I also like the spur of the moment dinner out, a phone call from a long lost friend, a quiet talk with a child, a movie I've been wanting to see discovered while flipping through channels, an offer of hot chocolate by my sweet hubby.

    When it comes to romance, I definitely prefer spontaneity. But we do plan dates or weekends away.

    What I don't plan for are sudden mood swings, especially when they get me in trouble. Mood swing...the tongue swings...the hubby swings the paddle...the bottom stings. Oh, not good.

    So, let's go back to making lists and planning trips away and unexpected squeezes...


  13. Oh Meredith! You are singing my song...I have notebooks, lists, post it notes. All with plans, dates, things to remember. However, enter ttwd and my planning has been "adjusted" and I like not being a one woman show anymore!