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going with the flow (it’s hard to do)…

Oh Joy

Oh Joy

I am a serious planner. Like, I need to know what's happening every day and have a plan in place for every single scenario. In some ways, it's always made me the responsible oneโ€”in my friendships, in my relationships, in my business, and as a parent. But being someone who lives and breathes by a schedule, it also makes me really resistant to change and really bad with just going with the flow. When I'm given a change to my usual routine, I shudder and push it away. I fight so hard not to let anything new or different in…until someone convinces me, encourages me, and pushes me to just go with it. And then, I'm always glad I did. But, boy is it hard. I dream of being one of those laid back girls in those romantic comedies who starts a food fight while making breakfast or shows up at the airport and then jets off to some random destination.

Are you guys more of the planner type like me or do you just roll with it?

{Photo by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy. My top by J.Crew, skirt from Anthropologie.}

41 comments

  1. completely share this trait with you.
    I organize paties and events for my friends, and then I end up not having the fun I deserve to have, not enjoying myself as I should, and taking care of people who end up drunk or anything.
    I know I need to let go sometimes because I find it exhausting being this way, and I;m trying to do it as much as I can when I have the chance and the mood.

  2. I have anxiety issues so I’m definitely more of a planner crazy type of person. I tend to get really frustrated if something in my schedule isn’t going the way I want it to (cancelled plans are the bane of my existence). I do realise that it would be good to be a bit more spontaneous at times though, so I try !
    xx, Charlie
    http://charlieleschroniques.blogspot.com/

  3. Omg I am a total planner. I’ve always thought it was a good thing, but lately I feel like my need for control and certainty is holding me back from a life richer than I could possibly imagine.

  4. I’m a total planner (it’s even in my job title) so I can be a bit rigid. It drives my husband crazy when we try to make plans and then I hit him with the list of “what if” scenarios. BUT I will say that I’ve become a tad more flexible since having kids. It’s forced me to finally come to terms with the fact that no matter how hard I try to stick to one thing, they will destroy it. And it often works out just as well! So yeah, kids help. And yoga. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I must say I used to be by the books with plans and scheduling far in advance (it helped big time with school!). But lately, I’ve been enjoying living in the moment without any shame if my daily plans don’t go as expected. Don’t get me wrong.. I still write things and color code them in my yearly planner and iphone calendar (yes, I double dip). BUT it’s to provide me with some structure to reach my goals I set for myself. IF things don’t get checked off a daily checklist, I have gotten better at letting it go and being present in the moment with whatever I’m up to. And of course, yoga helps me breathe ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I love to be a planner but plans rarely work the way they were planned for me. So, I have adapted myself to go with the flow and stopped taking responsibility for the little deviations that happen here and there.

  7. planner all the way. even more so after i had kids (trying to imagine and/or anticipate the possible scenarios and be prepared for them <-- this is not realistic but i can't help myself). but also after having kids, i realize that as much as you plan, life happens and you can't control all of it (this was a hard one to accept, ha). so...priorities! i plan but i've learned to let go (just a little). at the end of the day, everyone is still breathing, happy (most of the time) and healthy which is what matters.

  8. very much also a planner. just imagining that food fight scenario you described gave me a sick feeling in my stomach. oh my gosh, no!

  9. I think you can have a little spontaneity without going whole hog. A food fight while making brekkie sounds more stress inducing to me than anything else. One thing I’ve learned as a mama is that plans are great and all, but life is chaotic and messy. I get on a track sometimes where I just want to control everything; I make a big to-do list for the day and line everything up so it all fits. But 95% of the time, that doesn’t happen. It’s against my nature to give in during these moments and go with it, but when I finally surrender its so much better. I don’t often get it all done, but I do enjoy my day and my kid.
    I am not perfect. There are plenty of times where I’m schlepping my poor child all over town to do things and am frustrated the whole time because he’s throwing a fit. It’s all about that moment when I stop forcing things. But it’s hard to do!

  10. I’m totally a ‘go with the flowl girl. I rely on people like you! I always make sure I have no plans on the weekend so I can just go out for that spontaneous dinner or movie or lay in the sunshine for an afternoon snooze. However I do dream of being more of a planner, maybe i’d get more done on my weekend!

  11. I’m a planner all the way, though that sense of MUST. HAVE. A. PLAN. has dissipated significantly since having kids and gaining a husband. My life-flow has naturally changed to where I keep my work life more structured (so I get my fix!), and my family life more loose. In fact, my husband and I practice “slow parenting” – we don’t pack our weekends full, and instead make time to hang at home with the kiddos. Life is good!

  12. I love to plan and organize. But then, when I look at my schedule, I get overwhelmed easily and decide to skip this and to forget about that. And after a while I find myself writing the next to do list down. Unplanned days are very rare in my life, but I enjoy them and love going wirh the flow. It’s the time when I feel truely free and open to new things. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. I am SUCH a planner!! I get a little upset when it goes off schedule a few hours before, it’s like I have to mentally prepare for it! I was suggested that when I go on vacation to Thailand that I just show up and find a hotel asking people how much they liked it or paid for it and I can’t do that – it terrifies me even if it means I pay more, it’s peace of mind for me ๐Ÿ™‚ But I’m always open for a detour on a planned trip, haha ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I’m so OCD and such a planner that I have 2 agendas (one for work, one for blog stuff) and about 15 different Calendars. It is a problem. I am just such a space case that if I don’t have everything planned and mapped out I wouldn’t ever get anything done or ever remember anything. Oi vey.

  15. I’m definitely with you on the planning front. It has taken a lot of effort to try to have a ‘just go with it’ attitude. I have learned a lot from friends and family who are more relaxed. While I am the planner in the family, I try and adopt their mentality when I get stressed about silly things!

  16. Personally and professionally I am a planner. However I’m getting ready to leave my job, apartment and life to follow my fiancรฉ to Indonesia where nothing is planned and schedules are rarely kept. I’m excited and terrified for the challenge!

  17. I am not a planner but my mom is definitely one (I probably get this from my dad). It is really disheartening sometimes when you are not a planner because I feel that there is a judgement that you are supposed to be a planner when you are a woman and even more as a mom. I felt guilty all the time to all lost items, forgotten events, lateness and tantrums. So be happy that you are one, it is a very useful trait ๐Ÿ˜€

  18. This is so me! It’s always my partner who ‘pushes’ me into something in the good way – he encourages me, makes me feel like I would actually like it.. and then I really do! I enjoy it and plus I’m proud of me for stepping out of my comfort zone and.. evolving.
    But honestly, then I need a good a dose of ‘under the blanket with a good book and a coffee’ moment and a quality time with my Moleskine to recover haha!

  19. I am SUCH a planner – like you! I aspire to be a “go with the flow” carefree type of girl…but gosh I just love to plan. Okay, so maybe we’ll never be the hop on a plane and jet off to a random destination girls…but with our planning skills our trips are well organized and AWESOME ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. I am SUCH a planner – like you! I aspire to be a “go with the flow” carefree type of girl…but gosh I just love to plan. Okay, so maybe we’ll never be the hop on a plane and jet off to a random destination girls…but with our planning skills our trips are well organized and AWESOME ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. I am SUCH a planner – like you! I aspire to be a “go with the flow” carefree type of girl…but gosh I just love to plan. Okay, so maybe we’ll never be the hop on a plane and jet off to a random destination girls…but with our planning skills our trips are well organized and AWESOME ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. I am SUCH a planner – like you! I aspire to be a “go with the flow” carefree type of girl…but gosh I just love to plan. Okay, so maybe we’ll never be the hop on a plane and jet off to a random destination girls…but with our planning skills our trips are well organized and AWESOME ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. I am SUCH a planner – like you! I aspire to be a “go with the flow” carefree type of girl…but gosh I just love to plan. Okay, so maybe we’ll never be the hop on a plane and jet off to a random destination girls…but with our planning skills our trips are well organized and AWESOME ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. I am SUCH a planner – like you! I aspire to be a “go with the flow” carefree type of girl…but gosh I just love to plan. Okay, so maybe we’ll never be the hop on a plane and jet off to a random destination girls…but with our planning skills our trips are well organized and AWESOME ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. I am SUCH a planner – like you! I aspire to be a “go with the flow” carefree type of girl…but gosh I just love to plan. Okay, so maybe we’ll never be the hop on a plane and jet off to a random destination girls…but with our planning skills our trips are well organized and AWESOME ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. I am SUCH a planner – like you! I aspire to be a “go with the flow” carefree type of girl…but gosh I just love to plan. Okay, so maybe we’ll never be the hop on a plane and jet off to a random destination girls…but with our planning skills our trips are well organized and AWESOME ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. I am SUCH a planner – like you! I aspire to be a “go with the flow” carefree type of girl…but gosh I just love to plan. Okay, so maybe we’ll never be the hop on a plane and jet off to a random destination girls…but with our planning skills our trips are well organized and AWESOME ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. I am SUCH a planner – like you! I aspire to be a “go with the flow” carefree type of girl…but gosh I just love to plan. Okay, so maybe we’ll never be the hop on a plane and jet off to a random destination girls…but with our planning skills our trips are well organized and AWESOME ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. I have to be a planner at work, but my natural tendency is to kinda like plans but prefer them to be made by somebody else!
    But I really had to comment to say how much I love Casey’s photo for this post. The mix of movement and stillness and space and color is so lovely. First thing I did when I saw it was check the credits to see if it was by Max Wanger, whose work I adore. Beautiful work, Casey!

  30. Thanks Katie!
    Max is a good friend of mine and one of Caseyโ€™s photographer idols, so I am sure sheโ€™ll be so flattered you said that!
    Joy

  31. I’m definitely a natural planner and even a bit of a control freak sometimes too, I think sometimes these two things do go hand in hand. However since meeting my husband, 14 years ago this year, who is so laid back he’s horizontal, I have become more and more accepting of the fact that more often than not my plans don’t come about in the way I expect and actually often that’s no bad thing. Moral of the story, there’s no harm in planning as long you don’t expect all your plans to come to fruition in the the way and timescale you have planned ?

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