When I was clearing out a file drawer recently I came across a thick file labeled “Planning.” The very fact that we made files labeled “Planning” suggests how little of it we did. We also had “planning meetings,” which consisted of sitting down with legal pads, stating the day’s problem out loud, and then, with no further attempt to solve it, going out to lunch. Such lunches were festive, as if to celebrate a job well done.
—Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
I’m in serious planning mode this week—at work and at home. It’s making me tired.
Sometimes, I find the process of looking at the big picture and mapping out a step-by-step strategy to accomplish said big picture both therapeutic and rewarding. Other times, it just feels like I’m spinning my wheels, because I’d rather be getting things done. Never mind that those things I’m getting done are not the important, strategic things, but the mundane things that are not at all urgent: like washing the dishes or making the bed. Both will get done when it’s convenient, and the world won’t end if it doesn’t happen by a particular deadline.
And then there’s writing. I love that feeling of accomplishment of having already written. The writing itself, I really enjoy. Most of the time. The anticipation of writing? Not so much.
Seriously, there are times to just stop with the plans and get on with the strategies. Unfortunately, the plans themselves have deadlines, so I guess I’ll keep on making them.
Hm. I think I forgot to make my bed.