Planning to not make plans at all

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I’m packing the camper — or at least supposed to be. What I’m actually doing is writing about packing the camper. Procrastination — it’s an art form.

I love camping. I love having a camper and I love everything about “getting away from it all.” What I don’t love is planning. At all.

Yesterday I cleaned out the camper, which, I think, is an accomplishment. I put it away clean and tidy last year, but somehow after a winter’s shut-up-tight, it still needs a good scrubbing to get it up to snuff. I do this in one swoop. Then I rest.

I am currently sneaking up slowly on putting in clothing and bedding. In a perfect world, we live in swimsuits all weekend. This being Ohio, we will also need parkas, hats and mittens.

Food planning is iffy at best. I don’t know why feeding the same people at camp that we do at home becomes so challenging for me. At home we eat normal, budget-conscious things. Put me at the lake and suddenly I need to spend the month’s grocery budget on cheese and chips. I worry we are going to run out of food. We camp in a nearby suburban area. Not the Appalachian outback. Still, I fret.

Pack way too much

We are blowing the dust off the lawn chairs, buying charcoal and digging out the water shoes (which we will inevitably leave in the boat or car anyway).

I have folded all the beach towels. This is fun because it’s an adventure in time travel — starting as toddlers with the Disney character beach towels (I would jump overboard to save the faded Buzz Lightyear towel if it blows away). We move up to the colorful prints of the teen years. I think my daughter would drip dry before she would use that Hannah Montana towel today.

I pack too many clothes and not enough bug spray. Every single year. I make lists and check them twice and yet something will always get left behind. As long as it’s not people, we’re good.

Still, all this packing and planning wears on me.

Spontaneous

The older I get, the more I realize I am a spontaneous person. I like fun to “just happen.” I am inevitably cranky and out of sorts if I have to think too hard about how to make that happen.

In virtually any endeavor that involves my preparing for something, I end up all grumpy and irritable and convinced it’s not going to be any fun at all, so there. It never fails that it eventually is a lot of fun, but never mind, next time I have to pack, shop, plan — I’m sure it’s all going to be awful.

I get so worked up about “doing things,” I ruin the beginnings of almost anything with my control freakish fretting and general bossiness.

Chill pill

This time, I’m trying to pretend I’m not going anywhere. I’m chilling the drinks — and my attitude. This weekend we have camping, boating, a wedding and graduation shindigs. All fine, blessed events. All of them I am steadfastly ignore in favor of typing out this column in my pjs and maybe sipping coffee on the porch.

They say life is what happens when you are making other plans. I say life sometimes happens when I’m pretending I don’t have to plan at all.

There will be food. The fun will come. I may even manage to comb my hair. Until then, I will take the towels I have handy, the food I can find, and the people I love and enjoy the moments as they happen.

Life is too short not to be as lazy as possible some days, right?

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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