I am a planner. I love to plan.
If I’m not careful I enjoy the planning more than the doing.
Being mindful is about being present.
This is the opposite of planning. Planning is about the future; What am I going to do? Where am I going to go? Who am I going to see?
So how do I reconcile myself with this conflict?
Well, I plan elements of my life but I stay flexible too. I plan which schools I will be visiting and what I need to do to prepare. I plan what resources I will create and when. I plan the content for those resources and I plan things like my blogs in advance. But then I accept that sometimes things have to change.
Yesterday was a classic example of this. As is this blog.
Yesterday was the first day both my children were back to school after the holidays. I had planned during the holidays all the things I wanted to do when I was able to get back in my office for a full day, a full week.
When I woke up the sun was shining. I felt energised and ready to tackle my to do list.
Then we got up!
There had been a massacre in our back garden over night. All our hens had been killed. So instead of getting straight on with things my husband and I had to work out what to do with the hens and tidy up.
Then I got a message from someone I had contacted on Facebook about an oven that was for sale. It was perfect but we needed to collect it today.
So I spent an hour in my office tackling my to do list and then we went to collect the oven.
We then spent a couple of hours trying to fit the oven, (there was a slight problem with the grill we needed to repair) in the end I returned to my office (which fortunately is at home) and my husband continued working on the oven.
In the end the oven was fixed and fitted at about 5:45pm.
My children are used to eating at 5pm so you can imagine how they were behaving by then!
Fortunately I had a plan! There was bolognese in the freezer and we were eating by 6pm.
But this was about as far from a typical day as possible, whilst still being within the constraints of a school day.
How did I react?
I could have spent all day worrying about all the things I should have been doing. That wouldn’t have got them done though would it?
I could have got angry about the fact I was silly enough to buy an oven on a whim.
I could have just sat down and cried.
None of those things would have achieved anything though. So I embraced the fact that I got to spend some time with my husband.
I felt gratitude that the new oven was a bargain and the man we bought it from was lovely.
I worked in the evening for a couple of hours and pretty much caught up with my schedule. I can do the same again tonight and be ahead of myself.
Life has to be flexible.
If we appreciate that. If we embrace the random events that happen in our lives, and often bring blessings with them, we can truly live. Truly be present.