I’m a planner. I’ve always been a planner. But I haven’t always planned as far ahead as I do now. I’d like to be more spontaneous all the time, but it’s not possible. Not all the time.
Our petsitter books way in advance. If we’re going to take off for more than half a day, we need her to drop in or even spend the night. Michael even books his rare business travel around her schedule. That’s right. If we’re both going, which we are soon, we have to go on a date Miss Jen can sit with Riley. That’s just the way it is.
Early booking discounts
Although we use a good bit of our discretionary funds on vacations, we’ve found amazing discounts by booking early. It is entirely true that we booked a trip to France 19 months in advance. It’s also true that we saved a significant amount of money doing so. It’s also true that when I tried to book flights to western NY for the week after Christmas all the cheap fares were gone. 10 months in advance. So we plan. That’s just the way it is.
Our days are full of things we must do that are just part of the life we have built. The gym. My trainer. Riley’s nose classes. Doctors and dentists and veterinarians. Web designers. Writing and reading. My soon-to-start graduate classes, study sessions and the residential I have to do every semester on the East coast. I go to conferences. Vacation with girlfriends. And have date nights with my husband. If I don’t slot you in there, those days fill up. That’s just the way it is
The frisson of anticipation
Anticipation is a big part of fun for me. If I know I’m going to see a friend I haven’t seen in a long while, the frisson of excitement and the buildup are part of the fun of it. That’s just the way it is.
If I’m inviting you for lunch, chances are I have something the day before and something the day after. I like to have my ducks in a row in my home and on my stove and that takes planning. That’s just the way it is.
But not everyone is understanding…or even polite about it.
The responses to my need to plan among friends and people I know have run the gamut. They fascinate me.
Some get it. Like BK, for example. She completely gets it. No argument.
Then there are the people who say “I can’t plan in advance.” No meeting in the middle. Ok. Chances are, we’ll never get together because my life isn’t as spontaneous as yours.
My most favorite response was from one of the women I invited for a little lunch. There would be five of us and I started with April, because we are traveling in March and April. But there were timing problems. One of us lives in another state for huge chunks of time. I travel. One has a serious condition that limits her availability. Another one watches grandkids. The last one? She’s the one that had the biggest issue when we ended up with a May date–a few days after we spend more than two weeks in Portugal– and she was super passive-aggressive about it. As in she failed to respond at all by the time we got into May. The two others set the date. She …well, where is she? Who knows.
It made me laugh. I’m looking forward to having these women over to talk and reminisce over lunch I plan to prepare. I’ll ping everyone one time when I get back and those who show up, show up.
Maybe I’m supposed to feel guilty that I can’t be more spontaneous, even though in this case, coordinating five calendars is the kind of challenge that most would understand. But, I don’t feel guilty at all.
That’s just the way it is.