Things are changing. And surprisingly enough, I’m okay with it.
Those who know me can testify that I am an organizer. Not only did I have to search for years to find the perfect planner, but now that I have, I write absolutely everything in it. Everything. Seriously. Since I’ve started my weight loss regimen, I even include what I eat every single day. I plan weeks and sometimes even months in advance. I take my planner seriously. I carry it with me everywhere. I jot down thoughts, brainstorms, grocery lists, workouts, and of course, the vast list of tasks I need to complete. I have several friends who are free birds, who go with the flow and don’t need to write anything on their calendars. That’s simply not me. I’m afraid that if I tried that, I would most likely forget to do anything. In other words, I’m a planaholic.
I’ve learned quite a lot this past year. One of the more obvious being, planning and cancer don’t always mix. I laugh looking through the months that I was going through treatment, because the only things I ever wrote were “surgery,” “radiation,” “chemotherapy,” “blood draw,” and “doctor’s appointment.” Grocery lists, workouts, weekly meal plans, and errands no longer mattered. Fact is, my only plan was to fight and beat cancer. In fact, in the “to-do” section of each month I wrote, “fight cancer.” In the “goals” section I wrote, “cancer-free.” I laugh because I like to organize every step of my life. Prior to my diagnosis, my husband and I had the following few years set in stone. Well, at least in our minds. We had plans to move, have children, and buy a home. Exactly eight months ago everything changed.
God’s plans don’t always align with ours. While at first I was shocked that our designs for the future might come crashing down, I now understand that God has bigger and better plans for us. Our dreams remain, but the timing is no longer ours. We will definitely move. We will definitely have children. And we will definitely buy a home. I believe that God still has those in mind for us, however they just won’t happen when or how we originally thought they would. Although it’s taken me a while to come to grips with that, I am extremely thankful that we are walking the path that is paved by Him and not by us. His plan is perfect. Ours is not. And being flexible allows you to genuinely live a life for Him.
Besides the obvious changes, other facts are changing as well. I’m no longer bald… anywhere. I am currently sporting a very short buzz-cut. My hair is coming in splotchy and irregular, but it’s there nonetheless. Once my camera can capture my G.I. Jane style, I’ll post pictures. As for now, you’ll just have to imagine it. Unfortunately, the hair on my head isn’t the only thing coming back. I forgot how much I had to shave my legs. I also forgot how annoying it would be to leave the house forgetting to shave my underarms. My showers are significantly longer nowadays. Whereas before I could get away with five minutes, it’s now doubled, if not tripled. I definitely got used to the jump-in-and-out method.
I’m also going back to work. Due to the rigid schedule of treatment, and my lack of health and energy, I haven’t been able to work. However, now that I have received my first clean bill of health and have regained a lot of my strength, I have chosen to start my job again. To say I am excited is an understatement. Once we get back from our cancer-free celebration in California, I will return to the family I was nannying prior to diagnosis.
My body changed drastically over the course of treatment. Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I gained about twenty-five to thirty pounds. Thankfully, that is changing as well. In fact, since I began working out five days a week and eating super clean, I have lost a total of fifteen pounds. Fifteen in thirty-five days. I’m pretty proud of myself. To say it’s easy would be laughable. I’ve been kicking my own ass for some time now, and it doesn’t get easier. What keeps me going is seeing my body change and the numbers on the scale continue to drop. My face is starting to look like my own again, and not that of a blown up character in the Macy’s Day Parade.
I always used to think that I embraced change. After all, I did like to rearrange the furniture in our house every now and then. I used to think that I was flexible; I wouldn’t mind if plans with friends got rescheduled. But change and flexibility have taken on new meanings for me. While I was flexible with details changing in the past, I never considered the whole picture changing. I’m talking about LIFE changes… Big, scary, unknown, and unplanned modifications. Shifts to the entire picture my husband and I had painted for ourselves. Our life canvas has been completely erased, and now we are looking forward to what God wants to create for us. Our life has been directed down a different road. One that we couldn’t see with a telescope. But, you know what? I’m grateful. Now that I get a glimpse into what His plans are, our previous plans seem so minuscule and boring. We can try our hardest to plan out every area of our lives, but if it’s not what He wants, it simply won’t happen.
I can and will continue to plan my life. I will continue to jot down every last bit of information in my brain, in hopes that I won’t forget it. I’ll continue to make plans with friends. My husband and I will continue to plan our future. But now, we have a much larger perspective on embracing change and being flexible. Just as often as we make plans, God will readjust them.
If God wants to change your plans, will you be flexible?
Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
Debbie KaneSeptember 26, 2012 at 2:02 AM (11 years ago)
Hi Stephanie, if you caught my very first comment last week, you’ll recognize me as a newbie to your blog. In reading your “Confessions of a Planaholic” just now, I am becoming more and more shocked at the similarities we share…some would call it uncanny…I’m beginning to recognize it as what I like to call a “Divine Appointment”. As I mentioned in my previous comment to you, I also journaled my “down the rabbit hole” journey with cancer. The difference between our journals are that you posted your stories as they happened. Mine are purposely stored away for when I finally launch my new upcoming website which will be called “Go For The Health”. I don’t want this second comment I’m leaving you to be as long as the initial one, so I won’t go into details here tonight. But, I’m pretty certain you will see the similarities where the stories and my feelings throughout our ordeals are concerned. I have always been had “Type A” personality with OCD traits. I organize everything…including leftovers and all grocery purchases. Storage containers are precisely labeled with food item, date of purchase, date of preparation and date of storage. If available they also show shelf life expiration dates as well! This is just a tiny example of my organizational methodology. BTW, I love your writing style. It is obvious to me that you are a perfectionist at heart (knowing that there really is only “ONE” who is perfect…the rest of us simply attempt to follow His lead, because Perfection is not possible except for His, lol!) I love your excellence in grammar and amazing attention to details. This is quite remarkable because it enables your readers to easily visualize your stories.I will end this comment for now and leave you with a reminder of my personal mantra, my perceived purpose…”I Want To Make A Difference”! I am a true Peacemaker at heart and with that being said, I pray God’s continued Peace for you. The kind of Peace that is beautifully described by Jesus in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you. MY Peace I give to you. NOT as the world would give you, do I give to you. So, do not let your heart be troubled. Neither be afraid. Just rest assured, I’ll ALWAYS be with you! ~ Namaste ~ <3 <3 <3Reply