I have noticed that many qualities I possess in my work environment are very good for my work environment and in allowing me to be good at my chosen career of event planner. Some of those same qualities don’t translate so well into my personal life, in fact they get quite muddy in translation and someone come out as anxiety.
When you think of an event planner you think of someone who is detailed orientated, prepared, organized. Now if you take a look at my home you can see that my husband and I are content to live in organize chaos. It works for us – but it’s not a quality I bring to my work environment. When I’m at work I am overly organized, mostly because that makes it easier if someone else has to take over my responsibilities for a moment or a day or say a week-long vacation. Everything has its proper place and order because my brain organizes things differently than most people but at work I have trained myself to organize everything in such a way that others can find it.
At work I make lists to make sure everything is done and done in a timely manner. At work having all the details and information when going into a meeting, or going to work an event is a strong selling point that works in favor of an event planner. I’m very good at this. And it’s this having all the details that doesn’t translate as well as one might think.
it’s okay at work if I don’t have all the details because someone else might have the missing puzzle piece or we might not be at the stage of planning where we have everything answered. At work I can handle not knowing every second of every plan.
At home when doing something I’ve never done before I don’t do as well when I don’t have all the details. I check and recheck the map when going somewhere new to make sure I know exactly where to go, where to park, what to look for to make sure I’m going in the correct direction.
Maybe it’s easier to explain with an example. Tomorrow we are going to inurn my father-in-law at Arlington Cemetery. As it’s my husband’s father he has looked up all the details and know where we will need to go. This afternoon my anxiety about not knowing reached panic level. I was on the website searching everything. I now know how to drive there, exactly when we need to arrive in order to arrive at the appointed time. I know EXACTLY which building we need to go to, where to park, about how much parking will cost. I know what to expect when going through the entire process – despite the fact that most of it will be relayed to us upon our arrival. Why did I need to know all of this information? Every single tiny detail?
Come tomorrow morning if I only knew half of the information I would feel anxious and out of sorts. I would argue with my husband over the details I did know and insist that he should have looked things up better. I will yell at him and be rude, because that masks my anxiety and nervousness. Knowing everything in which to expect keeps me calm, which in turn will help my husband to remain calm in what will be a highly emotional time.
Now in this example it makes sense to seek out this information beforehand. But what if we’re going on a date? Do I really need to know exactly where to park, how much everything will cost, how to get from the movie to the restaurant? Do I have to arrive half an hour before we actually need to be there, in case something goes wrong?
What if we’re doing something spontaneous – just deciding to drive somewhere? I can’t let go of not knowing, I can’t be that far out of control. Spontaneous does not equal fun for me, it equals extreme stress and many arguments over nothing. My husband has done well with learning how I will react at these times. When planning vacations he let’s me do the planning in a way that i can have all the information, even if we decide to do something different while there. I’m okay with that, because by that point I have gathered all the information for so many different scenarios that whatever we decide fits into one of them. He laughs but I know is thankful because there are a lot less pointless arguments that way.
So my new goal…making those career orientated qualities translate more cohesively into my personal life. Because while I know in my brain that being spontaneous is a good thing and going with the flow is much less stressful, I can’t seem to get my heart and body to function that way outside of work. At work I can keep calm and cool in times of stress, I can get through plans imploding with a smile on my face. Outside of work…I implode right along with the plan. Anyone have any tips on how to do this?
How do I let go and just let be…outside of work?