Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Be Spontaneous

There is much to be said about pre-planning and minimizing risks, especially when one is preparing for retirement, a dream vacation, or building a house. These endeavors require superb attention to detail to decrease chances for failure. Keeping surprises to an absolute minimum when planning for retirement, dream vacations, or building a house is always a good thing.

But ... there's also something to be said for sheer spontaneity.

Think back to when you were a kid. What memories come to mind? How about as a teenager or a young adult? Is there anything you can recollect from those days that left an indelible impression on your mind, as a result of some spur of the moment decision?

I can think of a couple. One evening I asked my mother a question. It was a simple enough query: "What's for dinner?"

She responded, "Ice cream sundaes!" Now that meal is definitely in my top-ten list of memories. She caught me completely off-guard. As a result, her spontaneity -- along with her exquisite choice of cuisine -- is fondly recalled today.

On another occasion my brother came to visit me in Michigan. We were talking about Niagara Falls and how we went there as kids. One thing led to another, and we decided if we left immediately we could be there in ten hours. So we did. That's another entry in my top-ten list of never-to-be-forgotten days.

Spontaneous events aren't just supposed to happen to kids though; spouses also savor an out-of-the-blue suggestion once in a while. Here's three to get you thinking: a surprise dinner at a favorite restaurant of hers; a Saturday afternoon movie (again, with a flick she likes); the miraculous appearance of a babysitter 15 minutes before you whisk her off to hockey game. These are all wonderful experiences to be warmly recalled later.

Naturally, planning and routine have their place and function in our world, but the occasional spur- of-the-moment, unplanned event can create a memory lasting a lifetime. Sometimes, too, those really big, unplanned moments even become part of the family's lore and history -- like when my grandpa said "yes" to a blind date at the drop of a hat.

It was that event -- way back when -- that eventually kick started our family -- and all the kids, grandkids, marriages, and everything else that has gone along with it.

Spontaneity ... who knows what it will bring?

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