Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's Not the End of the World

I love making plans. I'm fanatical about it. I think we've discussed this before...but always in a negative light. While it is true that I can plan things to absolute death there are times when it is good to plan things out. Apparently there is a time to plan and a time to fly by the seat of your pants. Right now my life is in a season of planning, lots and lots of planning.

With my job it is an absolute necessity that I plan, plan, plan and then re-plan all my plans for summer. Four adults need to keep 15-30 kids engaged for 11.5 hours a day. Do the math. Without plans, it ain't pretty. I've been creating calendars, checklists, sign-up lists, charts for everything. Besides this I've been photocopying activities, emailing people, calling people, and making plans for things to do. Trying to get all my ducks in a row is really starting to feel more like herding cats. Although...really...I would imagine literally getting ducks in a row wouldn't be easy.

At the same time I'm preparing for summer with the youth group. We're hosting a swim & study at our house to continue spiritual growth and fellowship over the summer. So here we go again with the plans, lists, calendars, emails and wandering duck-cats. Choosing a theme for the summer, deciding how to go about that theme, settling on a format for lessons. All of this requires planning.

I have to tell you, I'm always pretty proud of my plans. Especially if it involves lists. I love my lists. To do lists, checklists, idea lists, whatever. If it's a list, I'm in love with it. I've had a certain amount of enjoyment with all this planning. Yes, I still feel like I'm going to lose my mind by the end of August BUT at least I will have planned for that.

However, I have to say that I am looking at my plans differently this time. I've learned a new definition for the word 'plan'. A plan is not what will happen just because I've said that it should or put it on a list. A plan is what is supposed to happen, what could happen, what would be nice if it did happen. I've got to leave room for flexibility, improvising, change. I suppose that's why there's margins on all those lists I type up. There's margin for error, modification, or creating new better plans.

If I'd learned this lesson sooner I would've saved myself a lot of anxiety. But I suppose it was through that anxiety that I came to learn this lesson. The world doesn't come to an end if I don't get to cross off everything on a list or if people don't follow my plans or don't do it 'right'. I may feel frustrated and things may not go well, but life goes on. As I tell my students when they're having a melt down, the world is still spinning on its' axis, the sun is still in the sky, life goes on.

Life will go on this summer even if it's one big epic failure. Believe me, its a possibility. With so many plans, activities, and people involved there's a huge margin for error. But life will go on. We may have to improvise, go off script a little bit, but it won't be the end of the world.

So I'm making my plans and doing the best that I can, all the while knowing that something will go wrong. It won't be perfect, but it won't be the end of the world. I plan on repeating that a lot this summer, a little planning's not the end of the's not the end of the's not the end of the world...

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