Thursday, 8 August 2013

Planning to be spontaneous

Like most people I know, I'm a busy person. Gosh, how society loves busyness! Ask someone (anyone) you haven't seen for a while what they've been up to and they'll busily explain how busy they've been, how busy they are right now and how busy they're going to be for the next wee while ... yes, it's reassuring to proclaim how busy we are. It's also a convenient, upfront blanket excuse for getting out of things we're not sure we want to do.

Admittedly, my social calendar alternates between feast or famine. However, even during my busiest times I love getting random text messages saying "Coffee in an hour?" or "I'm in town today. How about lunch?" Absolutely! Spontaneous events are sometimes the most fun as they also feature the bonus element of surprise. (Yes, I know all about logistics and prior commitments.) I have a friend who is desperate to do spontaneous, fun things ... but only if she's planned and prepared for it first with plenty of notice. Hmmm. It doesn't quite work that way. (I think she secretly understands this.)

Yesterday, a colleague casually invited a few of us in the office to her place for lunch and a mini-housewarming. We'd briefly mentioned the idea before she moved and agreed to wait until she felt settled enough to host us. Word spread quickly and the numbers grew. And then Miss Self-proclaimed Party Girl Who Loves To Do Crazy Reckless Things At The Drop Of A Hat piped up with a litany of questions:
  • When is it? What day of the week is that? How many weeks away is it?
  • What time will it start and finish?
  • What do you mean by 'lunch'? Do you mean lunch or just nibbles?
  • How much food will there be? What sort of food is it?
  • What is everybody bringing? How will we know what everyone else is bringing? Should we all write what we are bringing on a big list just in case someone else brings the same thing and we have too much?
  • Who else is invited? How many people will be there? Who is allowed to come? Can people come later if they can't make it at the start?
  • What will we do once we're there?
... all within 30 seconds. Sure, they're all valid questions and there is definitely a time and place to sort out details, but we were taken aback with how quickly she could fire them at us and needed to know the answers right now. Whew!

We told her to take a leaf out of Nike's book and just do it. Yes, I know that campaign's not all it was cracked up to be - but just think about it for a while, ponder all the facts and then make a measured decision when you are ready doesn't quite have the same ring to it when we're suggesting a casual lunch six weeks away. We assured her we'd get it all sorted before the day but, in the meantime, she should just put it in her calendar. We all had a good-natured laugh and she backed down a little, but I'm not entirely sure she's convinced.

Do you love or loathe spontaneity? How would you react if your best friend called you right now and said, "I'm in town for just one night - let's have dinner"?

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I'm all for spontaneity, especially since it's such a breath of fresh air from all the commitments and deadlines which we cannot control. I'm that friend that txts things like "lunch in an hour?" or "drinks tonight?"

I wonder why she's not convinced even though she realises that she's being a bit over the top. It is six weeks away after all!