Do Plans Get in the Way of Real Life?

March 15, 365 days of writing

Prompt: Comfort Zone – routine and planning, or laissez faire spontaneity?

So here’s where I get weird. I love schedules. I love knowing what’s going to happen during my week, when things are due, when I can expect to see said person…. However, I generally don’t like having plans. What, you say?

A dinner with friends or a girls’ trip can be scheduled weeks or months in advance. I love having those things to look forward to. But when my husband asks me what I want to do Saturday, and my answer is always, “I don’t know.” Someone’s planning a party – I’m in! Just tell me what time to be there. A trip to the lake –  woohoo! But don’t tell me what time to get up, because that is highly variable for me when I don’t have a meeting or am not being paid to be there. If my husband says he wants to leave by 10am, you can bet that we won’t pull out of the driveway any earlier than 10:45. Pretty good time, if I say so.

My son began taking tennis lessons last summer. His coach bragged on how much natural ability he has at this sport, so I was enthusiastic about this new hobby of his. For his last lesson of the season, my son was the only person there, so the coach offered to give me a tennis lesson at the end, so that I would be able to play with him, and know how to coach his technique. I love playing sports, so while I am enthusiastic and will break my neck trying to get it right, I am also a klutz, physically awkward, and a little (ahem) out of shape. Since Brodie would need someone with whom to actually play tennis, I asked Santa for a tennis racquet for Christmas, and was happy when I unwrapped that gift. Guess how long it was before I actually played.

Yes, two months later, on a Saturday, I said to Brodie, “Do you want to go somewhere today?”

He looked at me with no small amount of surprise written on his face and said, “Well, what are my options? Can I go skating?”

Although I had sort of planned that we might go play tennis on this day, I did not mention it to him, because I often change my mind. I’m sure that if I had mentioned it even a day in advance, I most certainly would not feel like going when the day actually came. I planned my offer so that we would arrive at the tennis court later in the day, with only an hour-and-a-half of daylight left, so I could always make an excuse that the waning daylight were reason to leave. I thought that we would probably have fun, but then again, you never know. Well, we had a blast, and even picked up a couple of passers-by – a mom and a little girl who was going to begin tennis lessons within the week – who went home to get their gear and then played a match with us.

While my son thought I was being spontaneous, it was, sadly, not spontaneous at all, on my part. Does that mean that I hate making plans?  Hmmm.  I’m not sure. One thing I am sure about is that I love having no plans at all. Free to do anything at all  – even something I thought of earlier in the week.

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