When I was in college a friend gave me a set of Angel Cards; for the past 15 years I’ve used them to provide a focus for each day. I drew “spontaneity” yesterday. I went with it. Focusing on spontaneity seemed like a great way to practice living in the moment and a great reason to toss my “To Do” notebook to the side—even if just for one day.
Since I’m the type who prefers to have a plan, I struggled through the morning. Dropping my morning routine and just going with whatever I felt like doing was especially uncomfortable. I abandoned my writing schedule, dropped my partner off at work, and drove around aimlessly until I felt compelled to go West. “To the mountains!” I thought. The forecast looked good for finding some sunshine and possibly a view.
Before I could even get out of the city limit, I saw that I had a text from my partner. They needed me to pick up a part from Home Depot; in my willingness to go with the flow of spontaneity I forgot I’d committed to this. I pulled off the highway and found the nearest store. I had a moment of frustration, “My day of spontaneity is spoiled! Just when I was gaining momentum, THIS.” And then I realized THIS was a superb situation to make sure I was practicing spontaneity. I may have shook my fist at the powers that be at this point and mumbled, “touché.”
As I left the store, I spotted a familiar face approaching. It was a young man who I knew from my days of working at the youth center in Montbello. I shouted his name, waved his way, and we briefly caught up. I first met him when he was 11 and now he’s 23. He smiled his distinct smile at one point and my mind flooded with memories of him and his sister. All this, in only a few moments. I walked away from this encounter feeling nostalgic and grateful for my day of spontaneity.
I felt confident and trusted the process; I decided to cook seared scallops for dinner. Whaaat? This isn’t quite as random as it may appear. I’m in the last six months of my PY35 and told myself from now until the end of my Power Year, I’d try one new thing each month. I’d never cooked sea scallops at home, so yesterday seemed like a great day to kick off my “one new thing per month” challenge.
According to my partner, the pan seared scallops were a success. The smell in our home when I woke up in the middle of the night convinced me otherwise. I didn’t like fish when I was a kid, probably because I lived in a landlocked state and all I ever tasted was old smelly fish from the grocery store that had been sitting there for who knows how long. I still live in a landlocked state. Even though I spent big bucks to get fresh scallops from the specialty market in my neighborhood, they had a slight fishy smell when I unwrapped the butcher paper and the odor permeated every room in our house, which I only noticed after waking up to the fishy smell that lingered. It reminds me of choking down fish sticks on Fridays as a kid. Is it likely I’ll prepare sea scallops at home again? No. Am I glad I did it? Yes!
My day of spontaneity stirred up wonder and awe in me. I saw things from a different lens than usual. I didn’t feel compelled to go big with my day. I recognized the subtleties of spontaneous actions and reflected on it all. You don’t have to have Angel Cards to have a day of spontaneity. Do it this weekend! Go ahead, plan a day of spontaneity 🙂
Clients: Email me for a copy of Day of Spontaneity Guidelines (they help you avoid the impulsive pitfalls of shopping and other vice driven hijacks to your day)