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Tag Archives: planning

I Need Advance Notice About Spontaneity

18 Nov

It has recently come to my attention that I am not the most spontaneous person in the world.

I thought I was spontaneous, but then my husband suggested an activity in the afternoon and I had to ask questions before considering the activity. He gave up fairly quickly.

I felt guilty when I saw how easily he gave up. Obviously he had been down that road before and knew it wouldn’t lead anywhere.

I thought to myself, ‘I want to be spontaneous…I just need advance notice first — you know, so I can plan ahead.’

I noticed the contradiction. Plan ahead to be spontaneous?

I know I used to be more spontaneous when I was younger. When I was eighteen, a guy told me he liked the fact that he could call me up and invite me out and I would be ready in ten minutes. Now I need to know what is going on, how long it is going to take, and what the weather will be like.

Is it maturity? Is it anxiety? Am I just no fun any more?

I blame children. I see the results of their spontaneity. Chaos, everywhere I look.

Once, a neighbor boy pulled the fire alarm in my apartment building. I think it was the loudest thing I have ever heard in my life, aside from monster trucks driven indoors. We all milled around outside at sundown, children without coats, a woman with a towel wrapped around her hair, waiting for someone to end the horrifying noise.

Another time, a different boy in our apartment complex found a large sheet of glass and broke it. I don’t know where the glass came from, but I know where it ended up: everywhere. In the parking lot where all the kids play Nerf gun wars. In the grassy area where people walk their dogs. Endless shards and shards and shards of glass.

I called out to the boy, ” Don’t you know any better than to play with broken glass?” and he dropped what was left and ran off. I spent the next hour or so sweeping up, filling half a bucket with glass fragments, abandoning the unfinished load of laundry and the boneless chicken breasts baking in the oven. My husband had to come out and ask me what all the timers were for.

Hey, maybe I am spontaneous after all.

Just not in a fun way.

I’ll have work on it.

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Getting Ahead of The Holidays

14 Oct

I like to get an early start.  Don’t hate me for it.

September is when I typically start preparing for Christmas.

I’m not talking about elaborate home decorations—I don’t do that.  It takes up too much time, and too much storage space for the rest of the year.  I’ll leave the fancy decorating to the department stores.  When it comes to decorations, I have only the basics.

And no, I am not really that organized—although I certainly strive to be.  If I were that organized, I probably would have finished this post in September—the same month I started it.  Instead, I became distracted…for a month.

I start my holiday preparations early because I want to avoid unnecessary stress.  Being so easily distracted, I need that extra lead time to stay on top of things so I can have a peaceful holiday.

December is a hectic month for many people, and there is even an urban myth about an increase in suicides during the holidays.  (For more information on this myth, visit the snopes.com: Christmas Suicides page.)

“Hectic month” is the key phrase here.  I know that some people actually enjoy a good adrenaline rush, but I am not one of those people.  Instead, I like to stay serenely ahead of the game.  I do things gradually.

So, in September I start shopping, in October I start addressing the holiday envelopes, and in November I start wrapping.  I use gift bags as much as possible, because they save time and can be easily re-used.  I aim for small, practical, meaningful gifts.  If they don’t take up too much space in my home, they won’t take up too much space in the recipient’s home.

The plan is to have nothing to worry about when December rolls around.  No shopping in crowded stores, no searching endlessly for parking spaces.  I don’t want to be forced to listen to three different versions of Jingle Bells while standing in line to buy whatever the store put on sale that day.

In December, I can relax with a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy the twinkling lights.  Now that’s what I call a holiday!