2013-08-29 / Views

From the Braver Institute

It is said that variety is the spice of life. I guess I would have to agree with that, but I think there is something to be said for what spontaneity is in the recipe of life too. Perhaps spontaneity is the condiment of life—like ketchup or mustard. Since I have no use for ketchup I guess I will declare that spontaneity is the mustard of life.

There are few things in life I dislike more than having everything planned out for me. I am okay with the idea of having to go to work at a certain time, spending the required amount of hours doing that which I do, and then going home when the workday is done, but that is where I like to draw the line as to the structuring of my life.

At the end of my work day I like the idea that I might go home, or maybe I won’t. Maybe I will go to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner. This happens more often than not too. Because I am a spontaneous person it is nearly impossible for me to plan out a menu for the week, go to the grocery store, buy everything I will need for the week and then hope that on Friday I will feel like eating what I thought I might feel like eating on Monday.

Life is too short to plan Friday’s meal that far in advance. I would rather go to the grocery store every single day and buy the ingredients for the food that I feel like at the moment than to settle for the routine of the staples I have in my cupboard.

I know that some people need to live by routine and straying from the routine causes them great distress. Not me man. Routine is so routine. If I could find a way to never do things the same way each time in my life, I would be all over that. There is adventure to be found in breaking out of routine. I am sure there must be some level of security to be found in routine but to me that security equals slow death. There is no adventure in security.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” To me there is nothing quite so foolishly consistent as routine.

Maybe that is the reason I like being spontaneous. Spontaneity turns the humdrum elements of life into adventures. Right now, this morning as I write this, I have no idea what I will do after work tonight. An adventure awaits me. For that matter I am not even completely sure what I will be doing at work today since my job affords new challenges every single day. My day could end up being a string of mini adventures. Waking up in the morning not knowing what the day will bring is a wonderful thing indeed.

Lately I have been making plans for golfing on the weekends simply because I don’t have time to play during the week, but even then I am setting no tee times. I want to wake up when I wake up. I want to eat breakfast when I am ready to eat breakfast. I want to get going with my day when I am ready to do so. I think the idea of having to be at a certain place at a certain time on the weekend is the thing that makes me cringe the most in my life of impulse.

This probably explains why I have been to very few weddings. They usually happen on Saturdays and at specific times. Couple my disdain for structured weekends with the fact that I am a guy and it is a wonder that I have ever been to a wedding at all. It is built into the genetic makeup of men to have no interest in being at a wedding. The reception afterward might be a different story since they are usually held with no required or predetermined arrival and departure times. At a reception I can arrive somewhere in the middle, stay for a few minutes and then leave, or I can be there from the starting moments and stay until the last dog is hung. The choice is up to me.

I do like to travel, especially on day trips, but it makes it very hard for me to enjoy the trip if I have a specific destination. If I am planning on traveling from point A to point B all I can think about is getting to point B and the trip in between is an unenjoyable inconvenience. On the other hand, if there is no point B or if point B ends up being some place I have wandered to, then the entire trip has been an adventure and therefore enjoyable.

When taking trips where there are specific destinations required I will do my best to leave departure and arrival times open-ended. That way I can take alternate routes instead of making a beeline for my destination.

A little bit of mustard on an ordinary trip can turn the whole thing into an adventure sandwich.

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Waye Braver can be contacted on Facebook or by email at waye@braverinstitute.com. Visit the Braver Institute at www.braverinsitute.com.

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