YDU: Give Up The Planner!


I like to know things. I like to be prepared. I like to have a plan. In college, my planner was my Bible. Everything was written down followed by little check boxes, so I could track my progress. Planning allowed me to be in control.  And I like control.

Then, I married a Marine.

In just our first year with the Marine Corps, we have lived in three, going on four, different states. I am currently 33 weeks pregnant with our first child. So far, I’ve received prenatal care in Quantico, Virginia, Pensacola, Florida, and I’m preparing to meet doctor three of three when I move to Cherry Point, North Carolina at the end of the week.

Our living situation is currently undetermined. All I know is that I’ll be staying with friends until my husband joins me at the beginning of February.

Needless to say, I have had to relinquish much of the control I once clung to so tightly. To an extent, I have had to give up planning. And, you know what? I am so much happier.

My civilian friends have noticed the change. When they call me and ask about our life and what’s happening next, I often have to respond with “I don’t know.” My college roommate asked me if I even had a planner anymore. I told her without hesitation, “Nope!” I could picture her shaking her head as she laughed into the phone.

The Marine Corps has forced me to figure things out as they come and react accordingly. And, I have made an active choice to react positively.

Sure, I could be miserable and spend my days lamenting how unfair it is that I’ve yet to buy a crib or a car seat or really anything baby-related due to our moving situation. I could spend my time dreading the delay in receiving orders or the lack of communication that sometimes seems to make knowing anything about the future impossible.

But, I’ve come to realize that doing so is just silly. I can live my life or I can spend my life worrying about not having a plan. I choose to live. I choose to trust that everything will work out, as it should, when it should.

That’s not to say I don’t have moments of panic over the future. I think it’s normal to look ahead a little bit, and as a Marine wife, some worry comes with the territoryI understand now that uncertainty and a lack of a plan is inevitable in this life. I can’t let my disposition be controlled by the uncertainty. Instead, I often remind myself not to worry about tomorrow; sufficient for today is today and what it brings.

Today I can be content knowing that I have a husband who loves me and works hard to provide for our family and meet the needs of our country. And, for once, that’s all I need to know.

Leah Dobrinska is married to an active duty Marine. She and her husband are currently in the process of moving from NAS Pensacola, FL to MCAS Cherry Point, NC. They are excitedly preparing (as much as possible) for the birth of their first child, due in late February.

Why Didn’t You Tell Me is a weekly feature that gives our readers a space to tell their own story.  If you have a story for us, please submit using the contact button above. All stories must be original and unpublished.


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