S is for Spontaneity

A few weeks back my husband and I were faced with spontaneity. Should we put a rushed weekend together to see our daughter for her birthday or find excuses to not go. Last minute, too expensive, who takes care of the dog, etc. We weren’t sure until the week before if she would be coming home to celebrate or we would miss it altogether.

The day before, truly the eleventh hour, we decided to go which meant booking a flight with very little advance planning, a hotel, and figuring out who would take care of our dog all at the same time.

I’m not usually a spontaneous person. I’m a planner. I plan a week out, a month out, six months out. I like to know what’s going on and when. My old fashioned wall calendar is filled with reminders, dates, get togethers, doctors appointments. My younger daughter is the same way, whereas her sister is not sure where she’ll be six months from now. Just the way her life has taken her.

That all being said, my husband and I flew down to Richmond, Va to celebrate our daughter’s birthday. It was simply perfect in that rare way that life sometimes delivers. The weather was beautiful, she was happy to see us, we were happy to see her, and everything about that weekend was in sync and harmony.

We don’t get redos often so, sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet, dive into the pool, go with the flow. You get the picture. In this case, what was holding us back? We are retired. We didn’t have to be at work on Monday. We could always shuffle around whatever pencilled in task was on my calendar. Spontaneity can be a good thing. If you can’t do spur of the moment things, like an unplanned weekend getaway then when can you?

Break out of your mold and be spontaneous. I promise you’ll be happy you did and you might brighten someone’s day in the process.

Takeaway

Spontaneity can be a good thing. There’s a time and a place for regimentation and structure, but plans are made to be changed and the outcome may make for a new memory.

As always, enjoy the ride

Xox Barclay&Joy

The H Word

We want to be thought of as humble, but none of us actually wants to be humbled. Meaning, we do NOT want to “goof”, as my granddaughter would say, particularly in public.

The other day our family was gathered in our living room and my neighbor stopped by to see the grand babies. In the course of her visit, she handed me her cell phone to share her own grandchildren pics. Then she left, forgetting her phone.

I jumped into action, thinking, and unfortunately saying out loud, the following…”Oh no. Jean forgot her phone! I’ll call her.” I proceeded to dial my friend’s number on my phone which prompted her phone to ring with my name on its screen. My brain was slow to process this mystery. And yes, I then picked up her phone and spoke to myself.

Grandma Mimi realized her goof and scanned the room to see who witnessed this self to self conversation on two phones. I caught sight of my daughter chuckling in the adjacent room, which was not a good sign.

Such incidents are humbling. (Humiliating is more accurate.) And as we age, they can happen with annoying frequency. We have become the gray haired ladies on those Hallmark cards, the ones who sit together in the front seat of a car and one says, “Where are we going?” And the other responds, “I thought YOU were driving!”

Joy and I believe it is healthy to laugh at ourselves and by doing so, to practice humility. Turning into those Hallmark ladies can be embarrassing, but it is preferable to being self-righteous and ego driven, traits which we try, often unsuccessfully, to keep in check.

I struggle, however, with finding the balance between proper humility and self condemnation, between having a healthy view of self, and self-aggrandizement. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, defines humility as, “Not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” This definition butts heads with our social media obsession luring us to check and then double check likes and comments; or to scroll through our photos and enlarge our own image…vowing next time to raise our chins so as not to see that loose skin succumbing to time and gravity. We (I) do need to think of ourselves less, while maintaining a proper self image.

But how?

In the book of Philippians, we find a Do This/Not That. Paul says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” And in Proverbs, Solomon says, “Fools delight in airing their own opinions.”

It turns out I can be a fool AND a goof! But each day of my retirement life, I am going to TRY to remember to put others first and to ask questions more than insert opinions. That is the anecdote to pride and arrogance — and the desire to check a mirror to see how your lipstick is faring. (I have become my mother in this practice; she would not hesitate to pull out her compact and reapply her lipstick, whether in the grocery store or at a dinner party.)

But now I need to end this post and go see how my chin is looking this morning.

Today’s Takeaways

-When you do goof in public, and you will, celebrate that you are human, prone to failure, and LAUGH at yourself. That said, do try to think before opening your goofball mouth!

-Try to listen, really listen; curb the temptation to interrupt, and try not to be distracted by your self-oriented mindset, which is wondering what you will eat for dinner. And do not under any circumstance, call your friend’s phone when that same phone is in your hand!

Enjoy the ride!

xox Barclay and Joy, your fellow goofballs