Overplanning

I’m a planner by nature. I like to look far into the future and have everything in order months in advance if possible. For instance, I have to conduct a workshop in March, and I’m already reading blogs from experts for ideas. I get this tendency from my mother, and it drove me absolutely crazy when I quickly realized my husband was just the opposite. I grew up in the same house for 18 years, and all of our trips (always by car and always to a relative’s house in another state) were planned out far in advance, my mother using her Best Western catalog to chart our course and make reservations. Mom was the navigator. Dad was our chauffeur.

I try to be more spontaneous like my husband, and I like to think I’ve improved a little, but I definitely had a setback on Friday when I woke up at 4:30 feeling as though I had been hit by a car. I stumbled to the bathroom and took 10 mg. of prednisone and went back to bed. Two hours later before going to work, I felt that 5 more mg would be necessary to get through the day.

After a long, achy day, I found myself wanting to know exactly when I’m going to die. I don’t want to die (though I feel ready for it); I just think it would be nice to know when I’m going to go, not necessary the exact day, week, or even month, but I’d like to know roughly which year I may end up going. Then maybe I can plan out the rest of my life to a satisfying conclusion. If I’m going to go in the next couple of years, then I would quit my job and live life to the fullest with the money I’ve put back for retirement, a retirement I may very well never live to see. If I’m not going to die for many more years, then I would continue to put out just as much effort into work and my other obligations though I’m feeling weaker and weaker with each passing year, so I don’t know how I’m going to keep that up!

I can’t help thinking of that poem by Emily Dickinson, “Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly stopped for me.” The speaker wasn’t ready to go, but death took her anyway. I don’t want to be in that situation, putting forth so much effort into my goals, only to be snatched away.

I’m wondering if others feel the same way. Is this some sort of mid-life crisis, or just something that people with a chronic disease or two happen to think about? It’s just so tiring to be so tired, to work so hard when I may drop dead in a couple of months or a couple of years.

I’ve worked hard since I was 16. I put myself through college. I’ve volunteered for all sorts of things and I still feel guilty when I have to say, “No, sorry, but I can’t take on anything else.” But right now, I feel tempted to drop everything, retreat somewhere (perhaps a cabin overlooking a lake in the mountains) and do absolutely nothing. I want to sleep late everyday, go for long hikes with my dogs, and swing on a porch every evening. And not just for a week; I mean indefinitely. Is that really so much to ask? Really? Don’t I deserve it?

I know I keep saying, “God’s grace is sufficient” but some days, like Friday, it REALLY didn’t feel like it. I suppose it is though. I’m still here, and I do feel better than I did Friday, but sometimes, l still feel the need to throw myself a pity party. *sigh*

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