Diary of a (I need to make more plans but not too far ahead) planner

My friend (who, like me, gets excited over art expos) called me the other day to let me know about an exhibition that was re-exhibiting in Jan 2022. I could hear the excitement in her voice as she told me it was back. In the early months of 2020, we booked tickets to an exhibition at The Tate Modern. The tickets sold out faster than a wink of an eye. We indeed were one of the lucky ones. It felt like holding a golden ticket (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), butmine being a black and white printout. For months we looked forward to seeing the exhibition and what we’ll do after. However, due to lockdown restrictions, the exhibition was cancelled and the gallery doors remained closed for almost half a year. 

When she received notifications of a new date for the same exhibition, she didn’t hesitate to rebook the tickets. “Save the date” she had told me, “we’re going, it’s in January so plenty of time to plan”. I jotted the date down in my notebook as my diary ends in December. I counted the months down on my fingers, four months. I’m excited about the return of the exhibition and to see it live, but four months is too far in the future for me. So much can happen between then and now, and I’m open to the spontaneousness of life, hopeful holidays, touring cities and last-minute adventure dates. 

A lot of my internal self-care to date has been about thoughts, not replaying the past or planning too much for the future. I’ve learned the personal happiness I build and have control over comes from living more in the present. Each given moment is a gift (present), one that I gratefully accept and embrace with both arms. I don’t wish to miss out on fantastic moments that unveil themselves in the nonce, for something that may never happen. This causes infinite stress and negative thoughts. Looking forward to visiting floral gardens is pointless if I fail to stop and smell the roses in front of me.

While I’m all for setting goals for my personal and professional life. Giving myself short routines that might not meet the hourly target, but will be achievable and get marked off the to-do list, sometimes. I don’t plan too far ahead. I’m the one who’s known to make last-minute dot-com trips. Conversations with friends usually go like this: 

“Are you free next week?”

me “no sorry I’m going to America”

friend “really, you never told me you were going” 

me “I didn’t know until today”. 

This is all for good reason. I’m a witness to seeing my own plans get crossed out by fate, with a bold permanent ink marker. Kismet (fate) taught me a valuable lesson about life and that lesson has been learned. Life is about experiencing everything the world has to offer, both good and bad. Some risk-taking of course is always involved.

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