The Master Planner

With each and every day, the members of my home get a little more restless. The cats pace in front of the glass doors, impatient for their feathered friends arrival. My two children are filled to the brim with cabin fever, just itching for the sun to tickle the waters of their favorite swimming spot. My boyfriend and father express how they can’t wait to start their latest project. They plan on redoing our porch and opening up a wall in the living room, giving new life to the unloved side door. My sister, full of hopes and dreams, plans on moving this summer, down to the city where she can become whatever she wants. 

I find it a little odd that I’m not joining in on the celebration of the arrival of summer. The weather will be nice, perfect enough to walk around my small town. But I’m not one to be excited over things like birds or swimming, warm days, or even moving. No, I’m the mother, meaning I know my position. 

With every exciting feature there is hard work before hand. My boyfriend wants to take the kids to the zoo, meaning I have to find a couple days I can take off in a row, plan for us to sleep somewhere, plan the food and gas spendings, and of course whatever else is needed for the unpredictable mother nature. And of course for the car ride down I have to make sure the kids have tablets that are fully charged, their snacks are healthy and something they like, and let’s not forget the potty breaks. 

I’ve never been one to be excited over things, as I am the planner. I plan everything out, making sure that everything we need is something we have. By the time I’m done planning, it’s as if I’ve already been on this trip. Once you’ve gone once, it’s the same thing over and over. 

People often tell me to chill out, just take things as they come. I smile and tell them you’re right, then add it to my list of things to do. You see, I can’t just take things as they come. Perhaps that’s why I see the positive and the negative in every situation, I plan ahead. I’m often looked at as the “party pooper” since I second guess everything. 

I even second guess my drive to work. I know I have about 32 to maybe 35 minutes worth of driving, yet I still leave an hour before. I stop at gas stations to get a pack of smokes and a blueberry redbull – a combination that could easily stop my heart but never does – and the entire time I’m calculating. I’m spending about $10 and this stop has taken about 10 minutes off my driving time. The traffic is light for now, meaning if I maintain the speed limit of 55mph, I should be at work by…

“Ma’am? Was that credit or debit?” A voice snaps me away from my unnecessary internal debate. Shit. There goes another minute. I pay for my items and am right back to the debate. 

This is a never ending cycle. Plan, think, replan, rethink, plan again and again, undermine all planning by overthinking. It’s a wonder anything gets done with me. 

Some days I wonder how my boyfriend stands it, or how he has dealt with it for two years. The constant thinking, the constant replanning because the original plan is just not right. However he deals with it, I wish he would tell me. Instead, he just watched as I slowly descend into the pit of despair that only I have dug. He is a free thinker with an ability to start and finish something “when the time is right”. For him, the time is always right. I stare at my laptop on the floor, filled with half-assed poems and would-never-be-finished stories that played out like beautiful scenes in my head, but lost its glamour once it hit the keyboard. For me, the time was never right. 

My family tells me that my writing used to be so good, and I’d write all the time. It kills me to tell them that my inspiration and my motivation packed up and moved out when I became the boring planner and mother that I am today.

For some reason, I’m just afraid that writing will take away time from my growing family. The family of cats that eagerly await birds, or the two children that can’t wait to dance and splash in the warm water, or the men in my life that can’t wait to transform our home, filling it with all the potential they see in it. 

Meanwhile I will continue planning, I’ll continue being proud of every single one of them. After all, that’s what I do. Plan, worry, and be proud. 

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