Monday, June 12, 2006

The Best Things in Life

I am a recovering plan-aholic. I love to plan. I plan everything.

When my oldest was about 5 or 6 I used to plan a pretend week of summer camp every year. We had a new baby so it was tough to go anywhere and back then there was not the plethora of things for kids to do like there is now. So, I would plan nature hikes(we went around the yard) camp fire marshmallow roasting (we used the cook top!) and camping (we set the tent up in the living room).

Last summer I planned an entire 9 day trip for four to Europe. No travel agent. Just me. We went through three countries by train, rental car, saw many, many sites from Belgium to Amsterdam to Southern Germany.

We are in a dinner club and once a year it is one couple's turn to host. I not only start planning months in advance but I even put my grocery list on a spreadsheet! I prepare a timeline for the actual evening!!

Yet, I will admit right here that some of my favorite days in life are the ones that were unplanned. A little surprise. An impromptu event. Which is why for all of my planning ways, I sometimes hesitate to schedule things that I don't have to. I like to leave room for a spontaneous idea. Yesterday was one of those.

A guy friend and I (I ran into him in the morning while riding my bike and we realized we were both invited to this same event) decided to go to a book signing and then afterwards we just didn't feel like going home yet. We went to a wine bar, sat outside and ordered a flight (a tasting of three similar wines - equals one glass) and had a very nice afternoon. We laughed a lot, talked, and both appreciated a day to be ourselves. Away from family, away from our usual routine.

One of my favorite days ever was last summer. It was a Saturday and the hubby had just finished the yard. I was feeling antsy but didn't know what I wanted to do. The beach was calling my name but it was already 11am. Wasn't that too late?? I mentioned it to the hubs and he said, "Let's go!" We called another family who immediately said, "Let's do it!" and we all threw together picnics and headed out for the 1 1/2 hour drive to the beach. We got there just as most people were packing up to head home. The sun began to get low in the horizon and I thought to myself, "if you'd told me when I woke up this morning that I would be on the beach this afternoon, I'd never believed you." It was a perfect day. I call these my "Jim Croce" days. Remember the song Time In A Bottle?

If I could save those kinds of unplanned yet wonderful days in a bottle, I would.


  • LOVE those great, spontaneous days! And I love late afternoons at the beach.

    By Blogger Arabella, at 6/12/2006 7:24 AM  

  • I hear you. It's SO nice sometimes to not have a schedule and just go where the day takes you.
    Great post!

    By Anonymous TB, at 6/12/2006 9:04 AM  

  • Man, I wish I lived near a beach.

    By Anonymous Sharla, at 6/12/2006 11:17 AM  

  • 11 am is too late?! Pffft. Girl, I usually don't make it out there til 2. Saturday Hoop and I went at 11pm. He kept trying to coax me into the water but I kept envisioning sharks at feeding time. Then we walked around picking up shells by moonlight and trying to guess what they really looked like. It was all fun and games until I picked up a dead crab by mistake.

    By Blogger Tink, at 6/12/2006 11:51 AM  

  • No, by the time we got going it was after 1 so it was 3 in the afternoon by the time we got on the beach. You have to understand, we are EARLY BIRD people.

    By Blogger DebbieDoesLife, at 6/12/2006 12:15 PM  

  • "Never pass up the opportunity to pee" and "Never pass up the opportunity to go to the beach!

    By Blogger Brenda, at 6/12/2006 1:16 PM  

  • Ahh. A day at the beach. I could use one right now.

    By Blogger wordgirl, at 6/12/2006 1:45 PM  

  • That does sound fun! I could use the beach right about now.

    By Blogger Renee, at 6/12/2006 2:11 PM  

  • That's terrific!! I love the beach at sunset. Wonderful time to be there.

    By Blogger teahouse, at 6/12/2006 7:10 PM  

  • I like simple days that turn into the most memorable.
    Your planning sounds as though it amounts to absolutely wonderful memories for your kids. Imagine the fun talks they're going to have when they get older about 'camping' & roasting marshmallows.

    By Anonymous jane, at 6/12/2006 7:17 PM  

  • What a great (impromptu) memory.

    By Blogger aka Brandi, at 6/12/2006 10:44 PM  

  • It's all about balancing those urges. I love to plan too, but I also like to wing it. I guess what I like is a basic outline planned and then wing it from there. The beach at sunset is fantastic. I typically like the beach better at night than during the day. I hope you get a few more memorable impromptu days this summer.

    By Blogger Annie, The Evil Queen, at 6/12/2006 11:00 PM  

  • I like this column. Sometimes you have to take a step out to see if your life is in a groove or in a rut.

    I know when I'm sitting in a rocker on the porch of the old geezer's home, I won't be looking back thinking, "I wish I'd worked harder." or "I wish I had done more hauling of the kids back and forth between this and that." I'm more likely to remember the moments when I took flight--so to speak.

    That said, I'll also remember the basketball game my daughter played in tonight. That was awesome!

    By Anonymous Tank, at 6/13/2006 9:12 PM  

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