plans ©Johanna Ringe 2022

Plans are our attempt to tame reality

I started my summer break full of plans: Hope for recovery, healing my skin, joy, the sound of the sea and laughter under the night sky. It all seemed well at first too… until the Corona virus struck us down. The extension of the stay on the coast by an additional week was only for recovery, I hardly saw the sea anymore. The skin had not yet healed. At home, I was still convalescing when a stupid accident in the family changed all plans again. On top of that, grasses and herbs are still blooming at home, encouraging my skin to bloom along with them… not to mention the heat.

To be honest, I am still READY for a holiday. Or again.

Many years ago, I had already sworn to myself that I would simply stop making plans, because they were always thwarted by reality anyway. Nevertheless, rough planning is one of the foundations of humankind’s life together. I understand that. I see that need myself. We can only bear the great uncertainty by taking control of our lives as much as possible. Constant changes of plans are nerve-wracking for the vast majority of people. Especially when the change comes from outside!

Changing your plans yourself is easier to deal with than a change caused by someone else.

If someone or something interferes with your plans, you must adjust mentally, psychologically, physically, and emotionally to the changed situation. And in the worst case, immediately. That is not so easy for many people. Highly sensitive people in particular have considerable difficulties with this… they need even more time to process these changes. This can burn up so much of their energy that their health suffers, and hence a (socially recognised) forced break is created: Migraine is a perfect example, but there are many other psychosomatic variants.

Instead, if we change our minds, we take the time to process this in advance.

This way you can adjust to the changed situation in good time. Sometimes you confront others with a fait accompli – compassion for their overwhelm in the face of the change of plans is appropriate here. But also be understanding with yourself. Give yourself as much time as you need to come to terms with the change of plans; anything else is stressful and unhealthy. Do not get me wrong: rescheduling can be very quick! And it can feel right and good. And that is the point: in the best and healthiest case, the change of plans feels good and right for you.

Unfortunately, this cannot always be the case because reality is unpredictable.

Even as careful as we are, we get sick, we have accidents, we become collateral damage. Or our environment experiences a shock, be it a natural disaster, be it a fabricated one… then all we can do is react to the new situation. This is where our resilience comes into play, our energy, our mental and physical condition. Therefore, it is so important to take advantage of every opportunity to regenerate. Just as the young mother does well to sleep herself during the short sleep phases of her new-born.

I look for moments of joy and energy because the holiday was not as restful as planned.

For sure we will recover from this summer. The days will get cooler again, the fractures will heal, the bruises will fade, the skin will calm down… Because that is our talent as humans: we survive. We adapt. We have gifts, both physical and spiritual, that help us do that. (Otherwise, no woman would ever give birth more than once…!) And even those of us who have a criminally good memory, and are perceptually gifted, even we will put a veil over the past bad days.

We are challenged anew with each new day, and that helps us.

We live in stressful times. Much is unpredictable, and we do not want to or cannot face the predictably catastrophic. The choice between wearing blinkers or having a complete meltdown is a daily decision for many of us. All the more important that we pull ourselves up by the daily challenges and continue to make plans. Our psyche needs a future. And sometimes even struggling with thwarted plans releases energy….

We will make beautiful plans over and over again – because just planning is already good for us!

Heartfelt, wherever you are now,

Unterschrift Johanna (c) Johanna Ringe 2014 ff.