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how to avoid planning by other-thinking

I am not the world’s greatest planner. My mind doesn’t tend to go in straight lines; it tends to fire off in about 5 different directions at once and this really isn’t conducive to linear thought. Fair enough, maybe there are ways to develop skills or strategies to deal with this kind of thing. Maybe I could work out how to use them. Maybe I could take advice from other people and learn from their experience. Maybe I could just be a perfectly adaptable human being and occasionally do what I’m supposed to … 

BUT – I’m not convinced my hatred/fear of planning is solely based on my inability to do it particularly well. It seems to me that the first part of planning is to have some kind of goal that you need to reach. On the rare occasions where I figure out what it is that I want, I’m pretty good at getting it (e.g. deciding that I needed to leave Glasgow resulted in possibly the most productive couple of months in my life). Now, it may be some subconscious fear of rejection or failure that makes this near impossible when trying to figure out my *personal* goals, but that’s not what’s running through my mind. What’s running through my mind is ‘this is one of the things I’m supposed to want – do I want this?’ *thinks about the possible implications, how uninteresting that will be pretty quickly and discards it*. So, earning a decent amount of money is a fairly common goal. And money does let you buy pretty stuff. But having extra money makes me feel insanely guilty and is a pretty quick way to throw me in to ‘what are you doing?!?!?!?!’. So that doesn’t seem like the most sensible thing for me to aim for. I don’t find routine and stability necessarily comforting and there is still an incredibly teenage-angst-like need to rebel against normality. Actually, it’s incredibly irritating that teenagers have managed to annex that type of thought and the rest of us are just deluded idiots who won’t grow up. [Add on top of that the fact that I have been so influenced by Sartre and Camus books that I don’t even question the utter pointlessness of attempting to force a meaning on to life… that might not help my previous point]

Now, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands recently with the whole ‘recovering from hip replacement thing.’ I could have taken a step back and try and work out what I wanted. I say ‘could’ because I clearly didn’t. Time and space to not make me more sensible; they have the complete opposite effect. Instead I panicked that I would waste any kind of ‘new’ life by doing nothing. if I was really pressed to come up with something I want from life, it’s new ways of seeing people or the world. I don’t want the possibilities to be closed down. I don’t want to completely give over to being any specific kind of person. I want to challenge the way I see things. I want to do things I find really difficult and that make me uncomfortable. If I look at the times I’ve had that blissfully ephemeral feeling of ? [happiness?] they were so far from planned it’s untrue. I’ve accidentally ended up in places or situations I couldn’t have imagined … because I could never have imagined wanting them. 

so how do you plan for that?


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