I like to make plans. I like to know what is happening, what is going to happen, and what options I have available. This helps me relax. Even when I am not in control, knowing my options and the possibilities for present or future events is soothing to me. It is one of my more healthy coping strategies for dealing with stress. It allows me to prepare myself mentally and physically for whatever is around the corner, good or bad.
Last year I started planning my kids’ birthdays three months in advance. I recall a couple of people thinking I was nuts for ‘worrying’ about it so early but it wasn’t worry I was feeling. Planning events early allows me to enjoy the excitement longer, but more importantly it gives me some sense of control over what is likely to be a hectic situation.
With C being in TRP (I finally learned this stands for Training Reintegration Program) until his injury heals, all of my big plans are up in the air and will stay their until he is reassigned to a new platoon. This is very stressful for me.
Take Easter for example. Even though it is over six weeks away, normally by now I would know exactly what we would be doing, who we would visit and when, what dishes I would be making, and where my children would be doing their Easter Egg Hunt. Not only do I not know these things, I can’t make plans yet. First I need to know what C will be doing. Will he still be in TRP? Will he be with a platoon? If he is with a platoon, what week of the course will he be at? Will he have the weekend off? If he has it off, how long does he have and how far can he go? Will he rent a car to come home or will we get a hotel near him? If he doesn’t have if off at all, what will we do? Will I take the kids to visit his extended family or mine? Do I want to travel at all with just me and the kids or would it be better to stay home? I could have one of my sisters help me with the kids but if I do that then I wouldn’t be going to his family event because there has been an issue in the past where my family is not exactly welcome at his family events. However, going to my family event involves getting a hotel for at least one night and finances are tight.
My mind races until I run out of energy. Being able to plan allows me to save the energy I waste stressing out and put it to better use. For now I need to accept that I am full of questions that only time can answer so I need to focus on other things. Wish me luck, and give me pointers if you have any.