I’m a person who lives by my calendar. I keep track of my world with to-do lists and notebooks, and my workspace is OCD level tidy. When my four kids were little and I worked a full-time job, this kind of organization was necessary. By taking charge of my time, I felt proactive instead of reactive, and accomplished quite a lot every single day.
A side-effect of my super-organized life was a lack of flexibility. There wasn’t much wiggle room to be spontaneous or take advantage of unplanned opportunities. Now, I have a much more flexible schedule. My kids are older and mostly independent, and my work life is primarily self-driven. More than ever, I need to plan my schedule or I get caught up in the work-from-home dilemma of no work actually getting done at home. But, lately, I’ve made an effort to say yes to things that weren’t previously penciled in on my calendar.
I’m finding that it’s okay to invite friends for dinner even if they see a pile of dirty laundry in the hallway. It’s okay to go to a concert on a work night. It’s fun to have a spontaneous beach day or lunch date or glass of wine on the porch with a neighbor at 2:00 on a Tuesday. I can’t do these things every day and still be a responsible adult, but I can and should do them regularly.
Some of the best memories happen when we don’t plan, when we’re simply willing to say yes to the simple, joyful opportunities that appear in front of us.