Are You a Planner?

April 27, 2011

I know I am. My husband once told me I plan too much. I didn't understand the concept, one can not plan too much. The message he was sending me was that I was too attached to my plans. If things didn't work out the way I wanted or expected them to, I was very upset. I allowed this to ruin any enjoyment the event may have provided. As I have become more aware of my attachment to my expectations, I can see how this has had an effect on my relationships within my family.

Adoption was not my plan when I thought about creating my family. I was going to be pregnant once, have twin boys and be done. Well, that plan went awry when my husband and I could not conceive.

We explored our options and decided to fost-adopt through the county. I did get my 2 boys, 11 months apart, not quite twins, but because they came as a sibling group, it felt like they were twins. I had great plans for how our family would be and what we would do as a family. When those plans did not play out or the results were not what I desired, I became hurt, frustrated and angry. I felt my family didn't love and respect me when they didn't follow through with my plans. I was not open to doing what anyone else wanted to do if they were not willing to follow through with my plans to my satisfaction. This did not foster an environment where family members felt comfortable in sharing their feelings, desires and concerns. I was stuck in "my way or no way".

It took a few years of doing things the same way and being unhappy with the result for me to seek assistance and training to break this pattern. My old pattern blocked my ability to see there was more than one way - my way - to do something. The results may not look the way I would like, but I can enjoy them if I choose. Being open to different ideas, concepts and paths has opened up so many new options for me. The greatest gift has been learning to love and accept my family and who they are as individuals without their having to fit into my preconceived plan of who or what I think they should be. This has provided peace and much deeper and more authentic relationships in our family.

I invite you to notice how attached you are to how you think things should be. Is this getting in the way of your being who you want to be with your family?

Lynn Cooper

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