In a recent post, I mentioned in passing that one of the great gifts of relinquishing my paycheck has been the newly rediscovered ability to be spontaneous, which goes hand in hand with the luxury of having time to breathe.
My calendar is full of appointments and projects and reminders, but unlike a desk job, I can almost always move those things around if, for example, a dear friend I haven’t seen in some time calls me out of the blue and asks me if I can meet her for lunch in an hour. This has happened on a couple of occasions recently and it’s a great feeling to be able to reconnect with friends in this way.
The weather has been glorious, which is a key ingredient for spontaneity success. I’ve found that it’s easy to be spontaneous when the sky is clear blue and the sun is shining brightly. When I picked up Sophie from the bus yesterday, we didn’t have anywhere we needed to be, so we walked to the local frozen yogurt place. When my mom had the girls last weekend, I convinced my husband to go for a bike ride with me. It was torture, but suffering with him made my pain more bearable.
Having time during the week to deal with all the nonsense like laundry and food shopping makes it much easier to be spontaneous as a family on the weekends. It used to be that if we didn’t plan anything ahead of time for the weekend, we’d end up doing very little of interest because we were tired and indecisive when the time came to decide what to do. But now that I have the time to think about different options for fun, it’s a pleasure to wake up on a beautiful Saturday or Sunday morning and announce to the kids and Papa that we’re going on an adventure. Tomorrow’s adventure: introducing the family unit to the High Line and Chelsea Market.
Based on my very preliminary findings after enjoying a few episodes of spontaneity, I can say with some confidence that being spontaneous every once in a while greatly increases one’s happiness quotient. It gives you energy, it makes you feel young and alive, and when you have children, it adds a little magic to their lives. It’s the perfect antidote to stagnation and lethargy.
I highly recommend a dose of it for everyone from time to time.