I am not what most people would describe as a great planner. I'm going to pause here to allow the people who know me well to finish their laughter, derision, or Tina Fey-esque eye rolls.
There. Everyone back? Good. Like most traits, this one is not good or bad in and of itself. I'm perfectly comfortable when plans get changed or canceled and I improvise pretty well, generally getting from point A to point B without much fuss.
That said, a little structure helps a lot. When I was at the absolute lowest point of my life, simply having weekly events to look forward to were invaluable to me. I couldn't see too far into the future as it seemed dark and scary and not particularly worth experiencing, but the fact that I had a regular Wednesday morning meeting to look forward to broke time into chunks small enough to digest. I couldn't see the top of the ladder, and I probably would have despaired had I seen how far away it was, but I could focus on that next rung right in front of me.
Things aren't anywhere near that bad now. My life, all in all, is pretty fantastic. It's much better than me-in-high-school would have believed. But, there's the general feeling of unease/fear/terror due to having a President who seems bound and determined to destroy everything you like about your country. It doesn't help that the state government has jumped on board and is, if anything, worse than the President. I'm still struggling to find my feet with the new regime at work. There's just a great deal of change and uncertainty.
To combat this, we've already booked a week out in west Texas. We're heading back out to Marfa, the bookend of our honeymoon,this summer. Knowing that that is on the horizon is a nice, big carrot in front of me. Just hold it together for a few more months and then I get to spend a week with my wife, some books, some adult beverages, and some clothing-optional outdoor hot tubs.
Not pictured: The "clothing optional" part
So, nope, I'm not a great planner and I doubt I'll ever be once. It's just that having a few plans, a few milestones, a little bit of structure, makes the bad stuff seem a good deal less bad. In a funny way, vacations are like the opposite of the ladder analogy. They can get you out of your daily rut of just focusing on what's directly in front of you. More than a few vacations I've been on have served to remind me of just how many things are worse than a rut, but that's not what I'm talking about.
Getting away from it all (or at least as much of "it all" I could leave behind-there are limits in this age of wireless tethers to one's job) clears the distractions away and gives you a chance to really sink in to what's important to you. There was more than a little "why am I spending all my time doing that when this is what I want?" the last time we were in Marfa. Granted, they have to pay me to do "that" and I, turn, have to pay to do "this", so the question answers itself.
I'm getting off-track here, but my point is...wait, there was a point, wasn't there? My point is that having something to look forward to is an underrated boon, and that the specific thing I am looking forward to right now is a vacation to one of my favorite places on this planet (I say this as someone who hasn't traveled especially much) and I'll be spending a week there with my favorite person on this planet. It seems like I could have said that in fewer words, but brevity, like planning-ness (?) isn't one of my great virtues. Cue the knowing eye rolls.