Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm a planner.

It's no secret that I need order and rigid structure to function. Disorder makes me crazy. Literally.

An extension of that is my need to have a plan. I get very anxious when I don't have a plan. Having a plan for everything makes me feel like there is order in my life.

That's not to say that I don't welcome some spontaneity. If we go on vacation, I don't have every minute of every day mapped out and scheduled. I'm O.K. with doing whatever we feel like doing when we wake up that day. But you can bet that I'd planned out exactly where we would stay and how we would get there and what we would do while we were there--just not specifically what day we'd do them.

As soon as we find out that the Army is moving us yet again, I immediately start looking at houses, schools, neighborhoods, etc... in the new area.

I like to be in control, and having a plan in place makes me feel like I have some shred of control over the situation. I may not get to choose where the Army sends us, or when they send us, but I get some comfort out of having a plan in place for when we get there.

As anyone in the military knows, plans are often thwarted. "What's that? You've made full preparations to move to Tacoma? Too bad. You're going to rural Georgia instead." And then I start the planning phase all over again.

Deep down, I know my planning is futile. More often than not, something changes that makes my plans obsolete. But making the plan helps, so I keep doing it.

Will leaves for a year in Afghanistan soon. It's stressful and scary. We've done it before. I know that I'll be fine. I already have many, many plans in place to get through the year.

But the scariest and most stressful part of the deployment for me is that slightly increased chance that he could be killed. Logically I know that he could die on the way home from work today, or have an aneurysm in his sleep. There's a chance for death for all of us every single minute of every single day. I get that. But when your husband heads off to a place rife with insurgents, a place that 104 soldiers from this very Army post have already died this year, a place where military analysts predict a Spring that will be far deadlier than the past several months have already been, you can't help but worry.

And so I plan.

I can't control what happens there. I can't keep him from dying there. So all I can do is plan for the worst case scenario. I can control what happens after.

(Umm, hi sweetie! You know how you think I spend all day playing on the internet and spending all the money? Yeah, actually I spend it planning out my life in the event of your untimely death. Love you!)

It's not fun. I like browsing houses for sale, but not when part of me is wondering if we'll need less square footage with one less person in the house.

But I have my plan in place. I'm pretty sure I know where I would go and what I would do if the worst were to happen. I hope it's a plan I never have to use, but I get a tiny bit of comfort knowing that it's there.

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