Learning to Ride the Waves (#37: Take a Spontaneous Trip)

I am not known for being comfortable with spontaneity. Quite the opposite. I have a need to know that everything is taken care of. I am very responsible. If I am going to do something spontaneous, I need to first put a plan in place…which really is not very spontaneous, is it?

Last week my wife took the kids to Myrtle Beach for a week. Being a Principal meant that I would not be able to join them as they left the week before March Break. Much to my surprise, however, my wife bought me a plane ticket so I could join the family on Friday after work, as March Break began.

I wish I could tell you that my first response to this gift was to thank my wife and start packing. But it wasn’t. My first response was to worry…what about the dogs? How will I get to the airport? I don’t have a plan!

The real gift in this was that Nancee had already taken care of all the details I worried about. She arranged a house and pet sitter. She booked a flight late enough that I had plenty of time to get to the airport after work. She allowed me to dip my toe in the pool of spontaneity. She gave me the gift of surprising our children, of enjoying a few days of sun, of ocean sounds and most importantly, of time together as a family.

I am learning to let go a little at a time. This spontaneous trip has taught me that I can let go a little. There are joys to be found in not having to have all the details worked out, and to simply seeing what happens.

Life is like that too. Sometimes we can’t plan and predict what is going to happen. We lose jobs, relationships fail, parents get sick, we find ourselves in a crisis. We can’t plan for everything, and maybe, just maybe, that’s okay. When we find ourselves in the ocean of life, surrounded by waves of uncertainty, we can feel like we are going to drown. I am learning, instead, to ride the waves.

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