I like to schedule out my life. So much so that my husband had to remind me in wedding planning that I shouldn’t plan the day down to the minute. I really wanted to. Call it control issues, call it organization. Either way it interferes with my life sometimes, causing me to pass on things that I really want to do in preference of the dreaded schedule.
For those of you who are regular readers of this blog, you may remember a few days ago when I decided to commit myself to my writing career. The next day I sat down and made a schedule for myself, outlining the different goals I had as well as a schedule for myself for the next two months. Today was an 8 hour workday complete with an hour long lunch break.
I was thinking about this uber productive workday when I received a call from a friend of mine who’s a nanny: “The sun is out and I have got to get this little girl outside? Wanna hit up the zoo?” Five minutes later another friend called me to say that she wanted to take me out for a late birthday drink and asked if I was free this afternoon.
Now the normal me would have hemmed and hawed over this, feeling the urge to go check out what the polar bear was doing today and indulge in a margarita vs. feeling guilty over not sticking to the clearly laid out plans I had for researching agent submissions and editing 2 chapters in my book. Yawn.
Then it occurred to me that sometimes taking a risk is just opening yourself up to opportunities that present themselves. Not to mention that any self respecting Chicagoian takes the suggestion to spend a sunny day outdoors and runs with it. It’s a known fact that we Windy City natives are Vitamin D deficient.
So I went. Screw the research. Screw the editing. The more important task for the day is to see how heartily I can make a 4 1/2 year laugh and try not to spill margarita down my shirt.
The zoo was first. On the way to the zoo I asked the 4 1/2 year to be on the lookout for crazy things I could do. The little girl shrugged her shoulders and said “I don’t know”. When we got in, we were soon encountered by a man strumming away on his guitar. I got the urge to dance my pants off. After some convincing, I got the 4 1/2 year old to dance with me (she was a bit scared in front of everyone). And it was awesome! We looked like totally fools in a packed zoo, our arms flailing about like we were alone in our bedroom with hairbrushes for mics. It was brilliant.
Later, at the restaurant with another friend, we noticed that there were some special people sitting in the neighboring room. Now, we agreed to no posting on Facebook and I’ve taken that to heart with this blog as well, so no details on who or why they were important to my friend. My friend was too chicken (“nobody calls me chicken!”) to ask for a picture. And since it’s my year of taking risks I thought it only right that I do the asking. And they agreed!
While I did get a little bit of work done, I discovered something more important today on my journeys out of the notebook and into the real world: 1. Schedules and timelines can sometimes be unhealthy. 2. If I want to be a truly insightful and intuitive writer than I need to experience the world.
Sure I could sit at home all day and type away on my computer or submit to magazines and reviews, but in the end will my writing be any good? I think not. I mean, how can I write about life if I don’t live it?