First off, people think you’re SO fun. You’re free-spirited, casual, instinctive, impetuous, unconstrained, uncontrived, uncontrolled. (And able to use the thesaurus.)
You’ve got them fooled.
Being spontaneous is a strategic decision. Deliberate. Planned. Premeditated. Intentional.
To use a recent favorite word (I use it to describe my husband’s approach to learning to line dance, and he’s like to kill me for this)…the word: clinical. Yes, my husband is learning to dance and he tackles it as aggressively as when he trained for the Boston Marathon. Kelly wanted to dance, so dance we will. But Kelly was thinking Friday nights, candles, the right mood… Nuh-uh. YouTube tutorials are always available. Husband drags me into lessons on Tuesday nights, Sunday afternoons. I catch him doing moves while mowing the lawn with his buds in. He’s trying to dance better than me.
Why is spontaneity a calculated move? Because it allows for mistakes, absolute failure, laziness, and for the 180° turn that commitments don’t.
I realized what a boon spontaneity is when I planned a bike ride with my friend. Diane was due to arrive and I was feeling nervous. Before you decide I need anxiety meds, I had my reasons. First, it was a thirty-two-mile ride. Second, it wasn’t the best time; niddah was upon me (hint: were I an old testament Jewish gal, I’d be sent outside the camp). Third, the night before I didn’t sleep well, and sleep is my Achilles heel. Oh, and Diane is a serious rider. She knows the rules of the road, has all the gear, and basically could run me over with her hands tied behind her back. I’m okay being the slow one. I just didn’t want her to fall asleep riding with me. Right before she arrived, I recorded my thoughts about spontaneity.
I feel terrible admitting this, but when Diane got here, she told me she slept terribly, too. I was like, YAY! We’re both going to suck. Before we set off I took two ibuprofen, thinking I was on my game. As we’re riding, I find out she took three! I love it. One upped in pain killers. Diane was so sweet. At one point (I think I was gasping) she said something like, you don’t have to keep that pace, Kelly. We’ll just have a nice, leisurely ride so we can talk and enjoy it. She noticed I had no air for talking…awww.
I was like whew! And we had a great ride. She would’ve gone a few miles farther to this fabulous view of Lake Erie, but I begged off. At one point she asked if I wanted to check out a bridal trail. It would’ve added a few yards to our distance.
I said NO so fast, her head spun (her words). Yes, I’ll hobble today and tomorrow. So will she. But it was the most pleasant ride I’ve taken to the marina yet. Everything is better with friends. It was worth it, the bit of angst I felt because I committed to a ride.