Autism: Joy in Planning

05 Sep

Hours and hours spent planning, and what do I do with those plans? I think that my enjoyment might be in the planning itself, for the activity becomes too much for me most of the time. In fact, the very idea of beginning the activity, even after planning it all out, is exhausting.

So what is the purpose?

Why do I spend so much of my time and focus researching and planning for activities that I will likely never follow through on?

My guess is that I feel… alive… hopeful… energized… in the planning stage. In truth, I just like it.

It is like my dreams and imagination. I can spend hours, days, years even writing, and considering things that are in fact impossible to realize. While that fact becomes frustrating in the end, the planning and researching part is so exciting to me that it becomes a compulsion… a fixation that I return to again and again.

And it calms me. The very activity of researching and planning calms me. This is true whether it actually becomes a reality, or remains in my mind as increased knowledge over a subject that I may never use in my life.

To tell the truth, I almost prefer the research and planning I have done on subjects that I have never used in real life. And the reason for this? My imagination is so much better than my ability, and most things I do don’t turn out the way that I have envisioned them. In short, reality often disappoints me.

But it isn’t like nothing comes of those thoughts and plans. Sometimes I end up with unexpected surprises – and often for things that I considered long ago, yet seemed to fail at when I tried to implement them.

Like this bowl of organic cherry tomatoes.


Three years ago, my rabbit died. Having many rabbits and guinea pigs, all around the same age, meant that we were losing them frequently – so I began planting trees over their ‘resting places’ in order to honour their place in my life, and to avoid having someone accidentally dig them up. I knew he was ‘going’ when I left for school that morning. On the way home, I picked up a Saskatoon Berry tree. He was gone when I got home, and I planted them both together, knowing it would be years before I would actually eat those berries.

I had a small raised garden right beside that spot. I wasn’t thinking well the day my husband brought small tomato plants home for me that had been donated to the thrift store where he works, and I planted them right beside that tree. They grew huge, and were covered in perfect little cherry tomatoes, which I couldn’t eat due to their location.

That year, I just left them on the plant, but some must have fallen onto the ground, and were crushed, for the next year several tomato plants grew again in the same area. Still too soon, and still too close to my rabbit, I left them again. Same thing happened the year following, until this year the plants had moved to another raised bed several feet away.


So this year, I am blessed with about a bowl full of delicious organic cherry tomatoes just about every day (for over a week now.) And these came about as a result of research, plans, and ultimate failure a number of years ago – as most of my successes do.


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One response to “Autism: Joy in Planning

  1. kazst

    September 8, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    I too usually enjoy the planning and research stage of things more than the actual reality of them.

    Liked by 1 person


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