I’m spontaneous. I’m sometimes spontaneous. I’m spontaneous when I don’t already have something planned. I have a color coded Google calendar, but have it on my schedule to be spontaneous next Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
I’m a planner. I have lists and schedules and calendars. I know how my day works. The world, however, never seems to get the memo. It’s time to run, but the temperature is 96 degrees with a 80% humidity, or it’s time for my wake-up yoga, but after a night of insomnia punctuated by my neighbor’s floodlights (they must think the most efficient access route their backyard is our bedroom window, because that’s where the spotlight is focused) I’m not anywhere near awake.
The environment changes, but dammit, I’ve committed to the plan. You’ve got to stick with the plan, because if you don’t, chaos descends upon the earth, and life as we know it comes to a screeching halt. So I’ve compensated by planning to be flexible.
I had planned tacos for dinner. I had the meat, I had the mix, I had the taco shells. I can throw a taco dinner together in no time, so if my husband is late coming home, or the dude needs a last minute ride somewhere, I can handle that.
Instead, hubby gets the call that my son is bringing four friends home for dinner. Four large friends. My husband says yes. I sigh and get my purse. Why? Because I have to go to the grocery store and get more taco making materials. About four times as much as I have on hand.
“Why?” my husband asks. “Let’s just order pizza.”
“I don’t want to create the expectation that we’ll drop everything and order pizza every time the dude has friends over.”
My husband looked like the Magnavox dog. “So you’d rather create the expectation that if he invites friends over you’ll drop everything and go to the grocery store so you can provide a home-cooked meal?”
The man had a point.
But tacos were the plan, and I had trouble letting go. I had trouble letting go of cooking and cleaning up after five teenaged boys rather than ordering whatever deal Domino’s had to offer. I came to my senses. Now that Domino’s takes orders on line, I don’t even have to pick up the phone.
The world did not come to an end. My mother did not call and tell me that she was disappointed in me. My Google calendar did not start screaming “Recalculate!”, and I had time to read.
Plans are extremely useful. They provide shape and direction to my day. They are also a prioritizing mechanism. I can only do as much as fits in one day. Plans, however, are not shackles, and just as my priorities can shift in a moment, so can I.
So this week, I will throw out my blind adherence to the plan. I will embrace chance and opportunity, and let circumstances dictate what the plan should be rather than the other way around. Or at least I plan to.
What thought will you throw out this week?