Spontaneity - To do or not to do?

Did you consciously put time aside to read this? Did you even know that you were going to read it? Or, did you just click on a link and go for it? Spontaneity; it is something we could all probably do without. Or could we? For now, keep on reading!

I personally like to plan everything I do. This way, you know what is going to happen and what must be put in place to make it happen. Also, you will have a good idea of what exactly the outcomes will be. When all this is weighed up, you will be able to decide whether or not it is a good idea to go through with the plan. Life, then, becomes streamlined and you won’t have any regrets or undesirable implications placed upon you.

This is precisely the opposite of what the beast of spontaneity intends. Now, life is not always possible to predict. There are many occasions when the unexpected happens and you have to deal with it. Such occasions are generally one’s which you have little or no control over. The difference comes in when you are willingly spontaneous, something that I am trying to tame, although maybe I should not. 

Very often I will be minding my own business and keeping myself pre-occupied when suddenly an opportunity (usually in the form of a friend) will arise. “It sounds good to me, let’s do it!” is my usual response. As I utter these very words I will get this queasy feeling in my gut that tells me that I have not thought it through and that this goes against my planning ideals. 

Nevertheless, I carry on and the more time that passes by, the more I realise what a silly idea it is. No turning back now. Well, I could turn back but it isn’t in my nature. Once I’ve made the commitment I feel terribly obliged to carry it through. This does not bode well with spontaneity, I have found.

I remember about two years ago, in 2009, my Dad called me early one Saturday morning and asked if I’d like to take a drive to drop off a package for a friend of his. In my state of semi-consciousness I agreed and before I knew what was really happening, I found myself dressed and ready for the trip. 

I was asked to drive (which I love doing) from Queenstown to Aliwal-North some 170km away, and back, making it nearly 350km in total. Sure, I was told that I would be paid and that was quite a persuasive manoeuvre. Spontaneously, I agreed. It woke me up early, took about five hours to get there and back including things I had to do. I missed out time with my friends and only ended up being paid exactly half of what I was promised. Given another chance, it would have definitely been turned down, no thanks.

Another option would have been to tell a ‘white-lie’. This, I am very talented at. Unfortunately the chances of me telling a white lie vary and quite inconsistently. Usually when I have time to think it through a white lie will be the best option. Otherwise, I get spontaneous. Here’s a hint: It’s much easier to tell a white lie when body language and tone of voice are excluded from the equation. 

Not everything spontaneous is bad however. I have done many things on impulse which have turned out to be very enjoyable. Often someone will suggest something which I am not too keen on but go for it anyway and it turns out to be one heck of an experience. Ever wonder why, whenever you plan a party, it never meets your expectations? The best times are spontaneous times. That’s why when a party permeates from little it is guaranteed to be a blast. I once heard a saying that goes, “In thirty years from now you will regret the things you did not do more than that you did do.” So, if a spontaneous opportunity comes your way, take it. Learn from it if it goes badly; if not, enjoy it and make it worthwhile.

When I left on my way out to Aliwal-North I promised myself to never be spontaneous ever again. So far, no good. Life is for living. 

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