My husband and I are wrapping up our week off by going to the oldest Art Festival in Atlanta, The Dogwood Festival. We did not even know this festival was this weekend and that is the point of this post. My husband and I took this week off without any plans. We went planless and without expectations and guess what ensued? Life and simple joys ensued. We won’t have a great answer to the question that always follows time away from routine, “what did you do on your vacation?” Not because we did not do amazing things or have amazing experiences but they were not the traditional sound bite experiences. We did not go zip lining in the mountains or body surfing at the beach.
Instead we had quiet conversations and held hands, we rode bicycles, ran and exercised our bodies. We were quiet together and I spent time talking to my mother about the books she loves. We cooked delicious meals and we shared his love of music with my at a seedy bar. We laughed about all of it. I had time to meditate and read. These activities may not make great pictures but they made my life richer. This is not natural or easy for me. If you don’t believe me read my post on discipline and you will understand how unusual this is for me. I am a planner. In fact my good friend always imitates me by saying, “get a plan and execute the plan.” I love a plan. I am passionate about regime and routine. As I move toward a more open and relaxed me, I am trying to put it in its place. I am trying to use routine to allow more time for the unexpected gifts to develop. It is not easy but it is so worth it.
So no, maybe we did not have beautiful beach pictures. Maybe some people may think “what a waste of time off.” I think I leave this week off having had time to add to the things I value: mental and physical health, relationships, our cats, growth, reading and writing. These are not your values. Your time would be better spent doing something else. What I would urge is to throw away the list and expectation. Open your mind to the possible and not the planned.