All the people who know me, know I love a plan so one of the biggest challenges for me has been having to curb my planning during this pandemic.

I hold my hands up and readily admit that I have continued to plan albeit on a much smaller scale otherwise I think I would have probably stopped functioning. So, instead of planning too far in advance and to keep me focused and to have some idea of what day of the week it is, I have engaged in another of my favourite past times and made daily lists which then create my daily plan!

I know……scary isn’t it? However, in my defence, it has allowed me to prioritise things I’ve wanted to get done during lockdown, to actually achieve a lot of those things but most importantly given me a sense of purpose for each day. I’ll be honest, not all days have “gone to plan” – some days I’ve woken up and thought “I don’t fancy doing any of that, I’m just not feeling the love today” and have put plans to one side and played with the dog in my garden instead. I have then picked up the plan the next day, a better day and continued.

But….as we are all being told we have to adjust to a new normal, what does that mean for future plans? Isn’t it odd to look at one’s diary and for it to be pretty much empty? Although lockdown is easing, we are still so unclear about what we are able to do and when, especially when it comes to socialising? Yesterday I went on a socially distanced dog walk with one of my best pals, I felt like I was a teenager breaking all the rules even though we didn’t. It was lovely and it’s meant that I’ve now scheduled to do the same again next week – hooray, a plan!

Diaries will start to fill a little as some of us will be starting to go back to work, some children returning to school – (I’m obviously very aware that there are those that have worked throughout the pandemic), but we are still limited in the plans we can make and a “normal” social life is seemingly a long way off. So what do we plan?

For me, lockdown has hi-lighted some areas in my life that I want to change and ironically, one of those areas is planning. I know, I said how much I love a plan but like many others, I sometimes find myself over committing to events and activities leaving little room for either spontaneity or just breathing space to enjoy my home and where I live. I feel that I want to plan less or at least plan less rigidly in the future. I want to put my energy into the people and the things in my life that create joy and if that sounds a bit “tree huggy” well, I don’t care, one thing this pandemic has to have shown us is life is precious, you have no way of knowing what is around the corner and therefore have to make the most of it.

So what shall I be planning?

  • I’m going to save up to make sure I get to see my fairy god-daughter & my best friend in Australia as soon as it’s safe to do so – I might not know when that will be but I can still plan to do it.
  • I’m going to plan to go and visit certain friends who I haven’t seen for a long time even if I have to socially distance, I can sit in a park, on a beach, in a garden and talk to them.
  • I’m going to write a list (you knew one of those had to appear somewhere) of all the musicians I would like to see in concert and plan to save the money to see them as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • I’m going to think of some ideas to celebrate various occasions that will fit in with social distancing that means we can still celebrate albeit a different way from the norm for the foreseeable future.

That’s for starters, obviously I don’t want to make a list of so many plans that I am then already over committing myself and defeating the whole object of keeping space.

So for a planner like myself, although it has been and continues to be a challenging time, I am now very aware that I need to let go a little, learn that I don’t need a plan for everything. Perhaps be a little more discerning with what I plan?

In fact, I am planning on not planning too much.

Take care and stay safe.