I admit it, I am a poor planner

Me and Steve on the shore of Gitchigoomie

Me and Steve on the shore of Gitchigoomie

I really, really want to go up to the Gunflint Trail for a weekend of camping, campfires, smores, waterfalls, hotdogs, wildlife spotting,  and air mattress sleeping. This realization came to me about 2 hours ago. 2 days from the Labor Day weekend. What chances do you think we have at getting a spot? Oh, you’re right. We have ZERO chance of getting a spot. Each state park has some first come, first serve spots. Realistically, however, we ‘re driving 250 miles Saturday morning to get there, so I am guessing we won’t get to any one of the bazillion campgrounds  on the North Shore first. And all the reserved spots, are…reserved. Poor planning.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if it worked, though?! Waterfalls, hiking, nature, saying goodbye to the end of summer. If we just spent the time getting ready Thursday and Friday, filled our thermoses with hot coffee Saturday morning, loaded the stuff, The Kid, and the dog into the van and drove due North to The Big Lake, what do you think would happen? Would we find the perfect spot? Would we find any spot? Would our heads implode from stress after dealing with a 3 hour car ride, a dog, and a kid, who wants to know why we can’t just find a place?

What if we get all the way there and we can’t find good camping? Our Duluth friends won’t be around this weekend, so no crashing at their place. The family cabin, which would be ideal, is being used by some people who have done the planning and have had the foresight to reserve the place. Ahead of time.

That I am a poor planner will come of no surprise to anyone who knows me– Steve-O, my former employers, my mother… I’ve just got a little hitch in my get-along when it comes to possessing the desire to plan  and executing the plan that was planned ahead of time.  That even sounds screwy to me.

Big decisions, like moving across the country, getting a dog, and getting married (twice!) have been done without a lot of planning on my part. The results haven’t always been disastrous. We just won’t mention that first marriage, kay? In fact, spontaneity may be my forte.  When Steve-O and I decided to get married, we started planning, and then it felt too planny. I didn’t like looking at catering books, and DJ menus and all that jazz for months on end. So, I put a halt to the planning  in advance and ended up getting things ready for our 200 + guest wedding in about 45 days. I work well under pressure.  We got married outside on the perfect autumn day, and it all worked out. The key though, was to let my sister and my mom do a lot of the planning.  My sis, is an especially talented planner.  Less so, my mom, who I take after. My sister has lists for her lists. I am not kidding.

I’m not putting a value judgment on planning versus not planning, really. Both styles can work. I am guessing you’re either a planner, or your not. I think a lot of people assume I am a planner because I work with a lot of deadlines, and things have to get done. But, I am kind of organic about how I get there and I definitely reconfigure what I am doing about 6 or 7 times during a major project. What happens a lot is that I forget to plan. Not planning is how I roll.

You would think, however,  that after this many years I would get what needs to be planned and what I can get away with not planning. It  takes some work to figure out that you want to go away on a major travel weekend or say move to Seattle, or become a vegetarian, for instance.  All of which I have tried to accomplish with little success. These are the things that require some forethought. One of those office-speak slogans on “organizational effectiveness” is coming to mind, but I am ignoring the urge to share it with you.


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