Is Life Better Planned or Spontaneous?
Enjoying the element of surprise
I have always been a planner, but I love spontaneity and surprises too. I love the feeling of the unknown and the rush you feel at the end of something you’ve never experienced before. Is it sometimes scary? Absolutely. But, in my opinion, it’s worth it. However, my diagnosis with MS, while it was a complete surprise, was not something I enjoyed (obviously, I mean who would right?). I’m a planner in the sense that I like to know what tomorrow is bringing most of the time. Say, if we are to have dinner with friends, or guests come over, I prefer that to be planned. I like for plans to be thought out and prepared for so that I can enjoy them to their fullest potential. I like to think about the dinners I’m going to prepare for the next week, and I like to plan trips months in advance. However, I still enjoy the element of surprise. I’ve always enjoyed thinking of the future and what it might bring, but most of the surprises life has given me are so much better than anything I could have ever dreamed of. Without that element of surprise I would have never met my sweet husband or have the beautiful life I have now. But, wrenches do often get thrown in plans made and kinks come about here and there, so I’ve learned to go with the flow in those situations. I’ve learned that sometimes plans (as well thought out as they may be) don’t always turn out the way you expect. Life has a funny way of doing that to you, and life with MS is no different.
MS forces you to plan for the worst
I’ve learned with MS that making and sticking to plans isn’t always easy. Often times you can’t always do what you planned due to fatigue showing up or other issues springing up out of nowhere. There are times I feel such anxiety about plans made because I know how tired they’re going to make me or I think about how long I will need to recover after said plans, and I end up talking myself out of going. MS is full of surprises. One day you’re feeling perfectly fine, and the next you feel like you’ve been crushed by a dump truck going 100 miles per hour. It’s unpredictable and cruel. The humorous thing about MS though, is as much as it surprises you, it also forces you to make plans. You know how they say, “Plan for the worst, hope for the best.”? Yeah that’s about how you have to plan with this disease. We have to plan daily to take our medication, plan ahead for heat/cold, and even plan on odd symptoms hitting us out of nowhere just to be safe. We have to plan for bad things to happen, just in case. We honestly never know. Heck, you even have to perfectly plan out pregnancies. In fact, that is truly what inspired me to write this.
Planning adds a lot of pressure
I watch others around me surprised by the pregnancy of a second child and to be honest, I kind of envy that. There are moments I’m thankful I need to do things like this planned, but there are other times where I wish I didn’t have to be so careful and over control of the whole situation. I desperately want a second child. I yearn to watch my son have a brother or sister of his own one day, and feel the love and joy of having two babies. But, as life would have it, I have to be very careful about getting pregnant. My disease modifying drug and the other medications I am on could do serious damage to a baby if I was to have an unplanned pregnancy, and I would never want that. Over planning in situations like this gives me anxiety though. I feel like because of MS I have to be on a certain timeline. If I were to have another child I would want to do so before I’m 30 (I’m almost 27 by the way), because I feel like that would be best for my health. And I feel like that adds a lot of pressure to the next 3 years of my life. I try to plan it out so that my son will be potty trained and old enough so that I feel that I can properly take care of a young child and a newborn at the same time. I also have to realize that there is that strong chance of relapse after pregnancy, and the thought of having 2 kids and being sick scares me. That is not the element of surprise I look forward to. I have to plan ahead and worry about my health declining as I age and that’s not something anyone wants to plan for. Its times like this I get so frustrated at this disease and wonder “why me”. I just want to be a normal twenty something year old enjoying life and its fun surprises not having to simultaneously plan for the bad things tomorrow might bring.
Going with the flow
I guess that’s it really. I enjoy making plans for the good things, but I despise planning for the bad “what ifs”. I love being stunned by life’s beautiful surprises but hate those surprises that are thrown in and unexpected…the surprise of new illness or even sudden death of a loved one. There are so many times I don’t understand why I was given this disease. I don’t understand why in some aspects my life has to seem so different. I honestly don’t know if I’m more of a planner or if I’m more spontaneous, but I do know that learning not to worry about the future has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. Not to say, that I don’t ever worry about it, because believe me I do…but I don’t let it defeat me like I used to. Like I said, I’ve learned to kind of just go with the flow. So whatever the future may bring, whether we are blessed with another planned little one or not, I’m going to keep enjoying life. I’m going to enjoy my planned events and squeal like a little girl at the sweet surprises. I’m not going to let fear or worries about the future dominate my thoughts. Life’s too short, so enjoy the little things. Go with the flow, and know that whatever comes, you’re strong enough to face it. We were given one of the toughest situations to overcome by our MS diagnosis, and by that I think that makes us capable of getting through almost anything, planned or not.