Friday, November 22, 2013

Spontaneity vs. planning

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." This quote by comic strip creator Allen Saunders is often attributed to the Beatles' John Lennon. No matter who first said it, it's a fascinating thought, isn't it? This quote takes us back to yesterday's blog about staying in the present moment.

When you are completely focused on plans for tomorrow, next month, next year and beyond, it's easy to completely miss the beauty in your life today. Does that mean you should not make plans? Of course not. But perhaps it suggests that you should not get so caught up in those plans that you don't even notice what's right there around, inside and in front of you.

I am a planner. So this is a challenge for me. But I love what happens when I really do pay attention to what's happening inside and around me. I love those times when I am completely spontaneous—something that goes against my Myers-Briggs "J-ness"! I have moved from being an ENFJ on that type indicator to an INFJ. But the "J" part always remains strong. The good news, as far as I'm concerned, is that I'm learning to be more spontaneous as I age.

An even better day
Just the other day I had plans for writing and working at my computer all day. I had a long to-do list. But my middle son, an attorney, called to say he had court cases and depositions out my way and wondered if we could squeeze in brunch together in less than an hour. Let's see: Stay at my desk or have brunch with my son? Hmmm, that was a no-brainer. And once he and I finished our time together, I decided to completely revamp my day. The sun was brilliant, the temperature was mild; and I had errands to run later in the week. Why not do all that today and enjoy the gorgeous weather? That's exactly what I did—and what fun I had! I even made a good dent in my Christmas shopping as long as I was out and about. That day turned into a fabulous day because I let go of the plans I had made.

A couple days later, when it was raining, I decided to schedule all the writing and computer work. If I had been rigid about my schedule, I would have missed time with my son and the beauty of being out and about on an absolutely fabulous day.

What can you do to savor your life today? The choice is yours.

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