Saturday, December 3, 2011

Learning to Laugh At Yourself

It is Dec. 3rd, and all my holiday cards have arrived safely to their intended destinations. This week, I shipped all the presents that needed to arrive for my family in Florida in time for Christmas. Everyone laughed at me for being so efficient, and I have to admit it is funny. The stress of crowded stores, post offices, possible delays, etc. is all too much for me to bear, which is why I plan ahead and get things done early most of the time. It is a skill that has come in quite handy in my professional life, but in my personal life I have had to learn to tone it down, and the payoff has been incredible.

If you plan everything out, then there isn't much room for spontaniety. It is also hard to adapt when plans change at the last minute, and yet that is exactly how real life generally tends to work. Both my father and brother flew to DC this year to meet me at the last minute leaving me without much of chance to plan anything, and their laid back attitudes and fluid concept of time have left me baffled-- how is it possible that we look exactly alike and yet we can have such opposite attitudes towards something so fundamental? They find me hilarious, and my son is so relieved to have found allies in his way of thinking. It's taken all 3 generations to come together to prove to me it is okay to not always have a plan, and when things are not going as originally envisioned, the best thing to do may just be to let go and laugh.

So this week, the non-planner in me was greatly rewarded. A friend I had not seen in years came into town, and because I had not meticulously planned out my week, I was actually able to get together with her and have an amazing time. Three other people were also able to get on my calendar without having to wait for weeks because I no longer try to jam-pack a million things in at once. Finally, tonight I was able to make time to go see a friend's concert because I had not committed to anything, and the best affirmation that this new attitude is paying off came from my own son, who said he digs the more laid-back version of me. I had to chuckle at his comment, as I thought to myself, "I do too little man!"

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