Do you consider yourself to be a planner? Or are you more of a spontaneous, go-with-the-flow kind of person? Well, I, for one have always preferred to plan things out. I just like the unwavering quality behind it; the security of having things set and ready to go.  Consistent with this topic, I must mention my love for to-do lists. Ahh, to-do lists – the epitome of organized planning. They provide instant organization to the sometimes unorganizable aspects of life. Moreover, crossing things off of the to-do list? That just provides me with an insurmountable amount of glee. Food Shopping – Check. Send important email – Check. Pick up dry cleaning – Check. I may even add a meaningless item to the list, just for the opportunity to draw an elongated, bright, red line through it. Get through Monday – Check. Perhaps yet another reason why my boyfriend and I get along so well is that he, too, appreciates the benefits of a good to-do list.

This is Brian’s to-do list from last May.

Speaking of planning, my boyfriend and I are currently planning the next few years of our lives together. We are moving in together this summer, which is such an exciting next step for us. We just completed a detailed budget of our joint finances to determine what we can afford – in order to make the best decision for the both of us.  Rent or buy? Townhome or condominium? What town?  Well, that, my friends is the plan for this year. But next year? Next year is not as clear. You see, my boyfriend is finishing medical school and will be applying to a U.S. hospital for a position as a resident physician.  However, the ultra-competitive residency program leaves little room for secured planning. You interview at a hospital, you rank those hospitals in order of your favorite, and then the system “matches” or places you at a hospital of its choosing.  As a result, we don’t know where my boyfriend will be placed and, consequently, where we will be living next year.  Will we remain in the “Garden State” of New Jersey? Will we be Virginia-ites? Will we be interviewing the security of tornado shelters in Oklahoma? The possibilities are endless. The only thing I know for certain, amidst this whirlwind of potential locales, is that wherever Brian is placed, he will have me by his side.

us states

Through all of this, certain life truths have risen to the surface of realization. Sure, some things are capable of being planned. Food shopping, emails, dry cleaning – these are all items which can be placed on a to-do list for us to conjunctively tackle and cross off with that delightful red line. But other things aren’t as easily planned. Take next year’s locale, for example, which leaves an element of uncertainty for Brian and me.  But do you know what? It’s okay.   As much as I love planning and to-do lists, I have learned not to fear the unknown – for there is beauty in uncertainty. The unplanned is not a cause for fear or anxiety. Instead, it can be viewed as an adventure; an endless opportunity for surprise and wonder.  No matter what happens or which way the road takes us (literally), everything will be okay as long as we have each other.
So, if you consider yourself to be a planner and find yourself facing unplannable events, just breathe. Whatever life throws at you, whatever uncertainties or unknowns come your way, think of it as an adventure. The universe has a way of making sure we end up right where we belong.
So, don’t fret, my planning friends. Raise your catcher’s mitt in the air and, with confidence, say in response to life’s uncertainties: I’ve got this.
You’ve got this.
So, tell me. Do you consider yourself to be a planner? Or are you a spontaneous, go-with-the-flow kind of person?