Megan And Her Strategic Planning

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I love this picture and just had to share it.  WIth the turning of the seasons, images like this really make me appreciate how beautiful the world can be.  That and this is one of my favorite pictures that I’ve taken 😉 It’s of some pumpkins that were being sold at a winery that I visited last fall.  I loved that trip so much because of the fall colors, pumpkins, sweater weather, BBQ pulled-pork, and of course, wine.

One thing I appreciate about graduating from college is that I no longer have to walk in any weather condition to get to a class.  I didn’t mind fall, but of course the rainy, Indiana falls are terrible most of the time.  There are some of those days, like those I experienced when I took the picture above, that make me love this time of year.

The thought of walking to class made me think of something else that I did and still do regularly.  I all it strategic planning, which is putting it mildly.  I will stress a day in advanced before going anywhere.  I mean literally ANYWHERE (e.g. the grocery store, Target, returning something somewhere, the gas station…).  I have to plan out in my mind the exact, best and most strategic route to get to any location.  There must be the least traffic and the most direct route.  Seems like something other people might do, but let me just run through yesterday’s excursion for you.

  1. Get to my car, go down 3rd street and I must stay in the 1st lane because it breaks off into a “Y” later and I don’t want to have to get over because that would cause me to lose some time.
  2. Continue on 3rd street until I get to the first stoplight intersecting Hillside Drive, when light turns green, get into the first lane.  Do not get over in second lane like you’re used to Megan.  You are not going straight home today.
  3. Stay in left lane until you get to the stoplight by Party City, turn left and then turn left again so that you can park right next to the door.  Receipt and item are already sitting together on the seat next to me. I run in, jump in line before the child and two grandparents, and return the item.  Jump back into my car.
  4. Take a right out of the parking lot, get immediately into the left lane, turn and make sure that you get into the 2nd lane because goodness knows that you will have to turn eventually, meaning more than 1/2 a mile down the road to get to Target.
  5. Pull into Target parking lot and park in my “usual spot.”  Run into the store, do not return second item before picking up other items.  Keeping receipt under armpit for quick retrieval, I basically run to get the exchange item and a couple of other things. I run back to the returns/exchanges counter.  Return the item and purchase others in one fell swoop.
  6. Get the heck out of there and go home.

I go through this route, obviously not in so much detail because I’m only recounting this now, several time throughout the day and often the day before.  It gives me a great amount of anxiety if I cannot follow these patterns.  Holy cow when the road was closed to work today, I just about had a panic attack.  I frantically went around the block, but still made it on time.

I was much worse about my strategic planning when I was in college.  I would literally walk what I considered to be the exact diagonal to class or to my house.  I would look pretty funny I suppose to other people who were taking the sidewalks like normal people.  I, on the other hand, could often be found trudging through ditches or landscaping, dodging cars in random parking areas, or scurrying across the road in random spots (yes, I too was a human squirrel).  I couldn’t (and still can’t) stand the idea of walking a sidewalk to a corner when I don’t have to.

Anyway, I just thought it was funny remembering this aspect of myself.

I hope some of you can relate!  If not, I hope it was at least amusing to read my train of thought 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Megan.

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41 thoughts on “Megan And Her Strategic Planning

  1. Yes this is familiar, more so from when I was younger, in school. Nowadays I give myself space to follow other paths, to see what adventures might be found! But always in the back of my head I want that direct route, most efficient journey.

  2. This is my favorite time of year as well. A less vigorous sun and the color changes also. So much heading towards renewal and revival. Not the religious kind either.

  3. Whilst I don’t do that I can relate to stressing from about an hour after I know I have to do something – even something fun – until about half an hour into the activity and I know it’s safe to stop stressing. Even if it’s something I love like catching up with friends, or even if it’s the fact that my brother is coming over to do some handy work. Stress stress stress. Obsess obsess obsess.
    Contrarily, in my big 4×4 I feel free and like I could leave my life behind anytime. It frees my mind, and I feel potential.

  4. Oh sweet Megan, if I may call you that? Now I know it is part of you and i Used to calculate as well to the minute how something would work out. But it is also time you can be hugging your loved one. Yes the tall one, chester could wait now and then 😀 Smile and stay you. And squirrels are cool.

    1. 🙂 Yes, you can call me that (although, I’m not always so sweet). It’s funny that you mention this. Out of the blue my boyfriend gave me a really long hug. We both needed it 🙂

  5. I loved the picture and the colours of it 🙂 I love this time of year, but not always when I need to go out and the rain is intense, but it is my favorite time of year 🙂
    I can relate to this you wrote about yourself, and I can still be like that, I am planning down to detail over a little trip to grocery store or even just go pic up the mail in my mailbox can be one big job. Some days are better than other, but some days are intense. Thank you for sharing your story, it is a big help to read other stories that I can relate to ❤ ❤ You are a good writer 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you can relate 🙂 I do hate the rain too, but the pretty days are really pretty. Going to the grocery store is the worst for me and like you, is a big accomplishment once finished 🙂

  6. It’s totally practical. Nothing wrong with that. I tend to be like that too. Driving especially, I tend to zone out and end up somewhere else if I don’t keep my mind on what lane I need to get in and all that.

  7. I can absolutely understand this issue! I have dealt with related problems in trying to help sufferers, and I myself have a “social phobia” problem. It truly is a “war in the brain” and there are different results in treating these sorts of things for each person.

    It is most important to accept any progress and be thankful for it as you strive for more. Keep up the fight!

    Clayton

      1. You are absolutely right, Megan. We get to an upstairs room by climbing a set of steps, not by trying to leaping 10 or 12 feet in the air…(aside from using an elevator!)

        One day, one step, one “win” daily…and if we fall back, we get up and start all over. It’s a simple notion, but it does work!

        Better Days…
        Clayton

  8. I, too, love the fall and it reminds me of my college days. I also would plan out the most efficient ways to get to class, because I often only had 15 minutes to run across campus with a 40 lb. backpack. It was like a game, and it was almost fun feeling like I beat the system by being efficient.
    But now that life has calmed down and I have a regular desk job, I’m realizing that there is joy to be found in simply taking my time. Especially with the fall leaves so pretty and begging to be gawked at.
    If you can stand it, I’d encourage you to plan a route in your daily routine that takes you somewhere beautiful, just for the heck of it. If that’s not feasible, take a trip out of the house specifically for walking and enjoying fall colors. I’d hate for you to miss enjoying the wonderful weather (hopefully there will be nice weather).

    1. Haha! I remember those days. The worst was when you had 15 minutes, a 40 lb backpack, AND it was raining! Those seemed to happen to me more often than not. It was always fun to see how fast I could get places, stressful, but yes, sort of like a game! I like that analogy 😉

  9. Megan, this story is candid, courageous and engaging. My dad was, and I am, fairly unfocused about where we were/are at any given point when preoccupied. He was a jaywalker with what I can only describe as a most accomplished, even deliberate carelessness. I am a daydreamer. Don’t talk to me while I’m driving or I’ll (safely, but dumbly) take a wrong turn. Drives some of my passengers nuts. It’s fascinating to reflect on human diversity. The world is richer, if sometimes more complicated, for it. Thanks for your willingness to take the path less traveled and support others who try to do the same.

    1. Haha 🙂 I drive my passengers to tears or screaming fits because supposedly I’m a scary driver, yet I’ve never had an accident or been pulled over 😉 Interesting. I like how you describe yourself being a daydreamer and I can totally see you turning down a wrong street and people freaking out in the backseat 🙂

  10. I can relate to your planning strategy. Though I don’t have OCD, I do plan a lot to optimize my use of time. For example, I always have my tote bag ready when I wait at the cashier and hold it in a certain angle so I can put the things I purchased in there as fast as possible. I also put the items I want to buy on the counter in a certain order: the heavy, bulky and unbreakable things first so that they will be at the bottom of my bag. Somehow, although in my mind I have it planned out so well, I often end up becoming hectic and fearing the people behind me in line will be impatient for me to finally move on… Obviously, this is not a big deal, but I think it’s a bit similar to what you describe.

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