Not a Phobia, But What?

SOLSC21, Day 23

I cannot plan. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I’m sure i have some kind of missing link, missing gene, or whatever it is that makes people plan ahead. I don’t mean lessons, I mean life. I. Just. Cannot. Plan. 

Am I too much of a one-day-at-a-time person? Do I believe in destiny? Am I afraid of the choices I will make as I plan? Frankly, I have never given it that much thought to know the answers to these questions, but I cannot plan. I know there’s a term for the irrational fear of planning, but no, mine isn’t that. I just freeze over when friends and family make plans for the next vacation, or for any long-term future. It’s like something takes hold of my inner being when I hear plans being made. I don’t know if there’s something called the planning block, but this is something akin to writer’s block.

And so, over the past few weeks, as my parents plan to visit my sister this fall, and as she suggests I come at the same time too, and as the whole family plans this big reunion over the summer, and as people ask me what my summer plans are, and as my second son enters his Senior year soon, I force myself to introspect. Is there some childhood trauma from too many flopped plans? On the contrary, I grew up in a household that LOVED, and still loves, planning. It’s our favorite pastime. Except that it gives me nightmares now. Do I fear failure? I don’t think so; I am constantly failing and owning up to mistakes, especially with my students and my own kids. Was I always this way? As a teen, I was the one who’d want plans laid out beforehand. I hated having to come home from school and seeing my excited family all set to go on some road trip. “Tell me beforehand!” I’d say.

Then, I think: Despite not planning for anything, life has been good. I have more than I ever bargained for. Three wonderful, healthy children, a large, quirky, extended family, best friend-cum-sisters, a comfortable home, a loving husband, a job that I absolutely adore, good health, and so many comforts that so many people don’t enjoy. I never planned for any of this. And so, maybe I know in the deep recesses of my heart, that there is Someone looking after me, and in whose hands I can give my destiny, someone who cares for and takes care of me – A someone or a something out there that’s beyond my planning and my control, but one that I am eternally grateful to for so much.

So there it is: My reluctance to plan stems from the comfort and the faith and the certainty in knowing that things will be taken care of, I will be taken care of. Even during the darkest times, we’ll all be taken care of.

Published by Shaista

I have been teaching in different capacities for 15 years now, from kindergarten to middle school, to even adults. I LOVE teaching, LOVE change, LOVE trying out new things. Immersion in newer teaching techniques has, for better or worse, changed me forever.

4 thoughts on “Not a Phobia, But What?

  1. I had a roommate once who was similarly unable to plan, though her situation was a little different. She saw a counselor when she was in college because she felt frazzled because she always left things to the last minute, then had to rush. If I recall correctly, the counselor told her she had a “disorder of hope”. I think it meant that she was worried that her plans would not come to fruition, so she feared to hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you’re onto something here, Shaista. There’s a lot to be said for having faith that things will work out for us. Because let’s face it. No matter how much we plan, things have a way of not going according to plan. For myself, I find that being a planner, or not, depends on the context. There are times where I find myself at a loss for what to do, where to go, what to eat. Other times, I have things nailed down with military precision. (That is, of course, before my plans go by the wayside because life gets in the way.) Thanks for this thoughtful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Man proposes, God disposes. Who do I want to be? What’s my purpose? Where do I see myself 10 years from now, 5 years from now, for that matter, ‘a month from now?’
    Man proposes, God disposes. With that… we rejoice in the Mercy of Him and resonate by say, “At least I tried.”
    And yet again, every slice has two sides. It’s a choice we make to pick which slice.


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