Almost a month ago I was told to be more spontaneous & less ‘in-control’. This made me realise how pervasive my need for planning & organising has been throughout my life. The idea of waking up and not having a plan for the rest of the day is one which would send me in a mild panic attack – how can I not know what I should/need to do?!
I guess this stems from my fear of the unknown and that of missing out. Having a plan somehow gives me a sense of purpose, of advancement, of not wasting a single moment even. Yet how often do things go to plan? What a paradox, ay?
So here I am, almost a month off and slowly doubling my toes in the unknown sea of spontaneity.
For starters, I joined some colleagues on an unplanned trip to the cinema after work. Off we went to the mall, smuggling our hot dinner in to the movie theatre – felt like I was in high school skipping class (or may be that was because we watched We’re Your Friends with Zac Effron?). It was great fun, but as it was mid-week (and I missed my bedtime) all I could think about the next day at work was my bed. Discovery #1: spontaneity can tire you out.
Next up, I went a week without meal prep 😮 It was a nice change, bringing back excitement in the ‘what’s for lunch?’ question. I could explore new dishes and remind myself of old ones. My tummy was happy, my heart was light and yet my wallet was even lighter. Discovery #2: being spontaneous can cost you a bit.
Finally, during our long weekend here in the UAE my colleagues suggested going on a road trip. I ‘spontaneously’ agreed and my plans to spend some of the days off in bed or by the pool were put on the back seat (pun intended). We did a bit of research, rented a car and off we went one fine morning. It was all smiles and laughter until our phones started running outof charge and the realisation that we had no physical map dawned upon us. Luckily for us, we had a powerbank and a charger which kept us going, but it was close, very close.
Funnily, I had planned to buy a map but in all the excitement of the trip (and my mental calculations of how much food to take with me) that task had somehow slipped out of my mind. I had also planned for a big lunch and dinner on the way back / at home. Once again, however, spontaneity took charge and we ended up having a late lunch which also required a significant detour. The bonus was a quick dip in the sea and yoga at dusk, followed by dinner on the beach. Hey, not bad right?
Yet, this lovely little detour meant that we had to rush back to return the car… with 15% battery charge and all other devices off. This is a control freak’s nightmare, and needless to say the situation did not bring out the best of me. Discovery #3: a little planning and organisation helps.
So have I learned to be spontaneous? Not yet as I have a way to go. But I have learned that sometimes it’s ok to go with the flow and be a little bit adventurous. Key word: sometimes.
My conclusion: there is a time and place for being spontaneous.