Tuesday, March 21, 2006

are you ready?

I'm Feeling: full of lunch, and mildly frustrated with my computer
Background Noise: Above Ground by Norah Jones

Ok, so it happened again today. Not sure if there's some funny blog-bug on my PC, but I wrote a delightful post, and it acted like it was uploading, then it's nowhere to be found! No warning, no way to go back and try again... just lost. All my fantastic ruminations and pontifications are scattered in cyberspace. I'm gonna have to remember to copy what I write before I click the "publish" button, so that I don't have to suffer so dramatically again. (I know, my life is awfully stricken with hardship).

Anyway, I was thinking about what a planner I am. Today, I've had all these students show up completely unprepared for their meetings. This is understandable to a point, because the only reason they are coming in to see me is because they don't know what's what. But there are some questions I cannot answer without more information from them. For example, here is a summary of a conversation I had with a student this morning.

Student: I got accepted to a summer program at American University, and I wanted to know if the credits will transfer back to MSU.
Me: What will you be enrolled in?
Student: I don't know.
Me: .... well.... it's hard to say, then.
Student: Ok, well that's really all I wanted to know.

Does that seem valuable? I think something was missing. Mostly, I just feel bad that he came all the way in and because of missing info, I was unable to give him any concrete information.

As I thought about this phenomenon (rampant unpreparation today), I realized that I spend a majority of my time planning for things. Now, this habit of mine has some distinct advantages.
- I'm fairly reliable and organized
- When unexpected "challenges" pop up, being overly prepared makes them easier to handle
- I generally have a good idea of what's going on around me, and when and why things are happening

However, I've noticed distinct disadvantages as well:
- Spontaneity can freak me out, which makes me a little less fun than the average bear
- It's harder to live in the moment, because I'm usually thinking about the moment that's coming 5 moments from now
- I can get more caught up with details than with the people involved

I'm working on finding a balance - both at home and at work. Mark and I joke about having 8 kids someday, and I know that he mostly likes the idea because I'll have to relinquish my fiendish grip on my precious plans. Kids systematically un-plan your life, and I guess I could use a little of that.

Are you a planner or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pantser?
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1 thoughts:

tucker said...

By nature, I fly by the seat of my pants but I have become a better planner. Both require a bit of skill.