Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ON FUN ~ Spotaneity With A Plan...

At the age of 45, writer Regina Brett wrote a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer listing 45 lessons that life had taught her thus far. As a breast cancer survivor, many of those lessons were learned the hard way. Five years later she added five more lessons rounding her list up to 50 and turned her popular list into a book called God Never Blinks. I found her list to be entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking. I thought I would go through each of her lessons learned and write about how that lesson has or has not come up in my own life, now that I am 40 and feel old enough to have finally learned something.

"Overprepare, then go with the flow."
~ LESSON #22

I am a Virgo. Born in September, my sign states that I am supposed to be very detailed and punctual and organized. I am also supposed to be shy and a bit of a hypochondriac. Lets just say that not all characteristics of my astrological sign fit my true personality. But I will admit this much, I am detailed and I do like to be organized.

I like to conceive of a game plan, but I also enjoy spontaneity. I think this comes from each of my parents. My father loves nothing more than to research, review, consider and plot a travel agenda. I do believe he would pass out an itinerary if he could get away with it. He cannot get away with it because my mother likes to get in the car and just go for a ride and see where she ends up. This stresses my father out, not knowing exactly where the road leads or when they will get wherever it is that they are going. And how will they know when they get there? Oh relax, says my mom. It absolutely kills my dad to just stop when they get tired and find a place to stay instead of having a reservation in advance. But he does it because he loves my mom and the goofy adventures her whimsical impatience takes them on at the drop of a hat.

And so I like to read up on a region or specific location, just as my dad does. But it is more to get an overview or find insight into something off the beaten path. And then I like to hop into Andy's Jeep and let him pick a road and see where it goes. And then when we get there, we poke around and sometimes get delighted when we stumble across some of those things I read about earlier. And other times we decide the other things we find turn out to be pretty cool too.

Having a plan and being prepared for a variety of options is logical and easy enough to do. Letting go of structure and blazing your own trail is harder. But with that security blanket of a firm plan beneath your feet, where's the harm in letting them decide where to wander every now and then?


soleil said...

I like to read up on a place, find a few things of interest and then let my whims do the rest. I am not a fan of the itinerary, but it is good to have a bare bones type of plan. :)

Matty said...

Spontaneity and planning both have their advantages. Mary is the planner around here. She needs to know everything in advance. Like your mom, I prefer to just get in the car and start driving.

Margot said...

I thought of my dad when I read your post. He and I share a lot with you and your dad when it comes to trips. For me, half the fun of a trip is in the planning and the anticipation.

However, my dad would play a game with us kids occasionally on our Sunday drives. We would head out of town and then he'd let each one of us call out a left or right turn at various intersections. It made for some interesting rides, most of them fun. It gave everyone a chance to have their way for a while. We learned too many lefts or too many rights got us back home. As we got more savvy at it, we could take the car straight to the ice cream shop. Good memory.

kayerj said...

I'm a virgo too! I agree with you, it is nice to look ahead and prepare somewhat so you at least know what to do. that way you can loosen up and go with the flow when the plan doesn't cooperate. I also plan way too much food when we camp . . . but so far no one has complained about that :D

Anonymous said...

I love to prepare and then let the little unexpected things delight me. Jason thinks I overprepare, but let me say that without my overprep when we travelled overseas I think we might have been forced to sleep in a hostel (not that there's anything wrong with that :)) I think we could travel well together ;)
So you birthday is in September? Both Gage and I are Libras :) We're balanced. Not sure how that will relate to Gage yet, but of all the signs I do think Libra fits me best. Not that it means I actually read my horoscope!
As always, I love these posts. And your parents sound so cute.

Kathleen said...

This strategy keeps me in a comfortable place. I can't be completely spontaneous when I travel but also don't want to get completely locked in to a certain schedule.