As we get older, our lives become increasingly more busy. Our calendars are full, our schedules jam-packed with appointments and work events and family commitments. And it seems, at least for me, that sometimes there is very little time in between all the “stuff” in our lives to leave time for spontaneity. It becomes very easy to say “no” to things that come up because they are hard to fit into your schedule or hard to make the calendar work around them. For me, I’m a planner. I appreciate a calendar filled out months in advance so I know what’s ahead. I like to plan ahead, especially travel, for a number of reasons like saving money and using points, but also because I like to have a plan. For me, sometimes saying “yes” to things that come up that weren’t planned for is hard. I don’t like to break up plans or get myself too busy with everything going on. But I’ve also learned that sometimes, it’s really important to throw a wrench in everything and that’s why saying Yes is important all the same.
When we heard from Nick’s office that they really wanted him to get up to the Anchorage division sometime in August (all this happening at the end of July), my first thought was, I’m not sure we can make that work with our upcoming schedule. I really wanted to go with him as we’ve been wanting to get up to Alaska forever, but we already had every weekend scheduled in August and we had a lot going on during the weeks of the month as well. But it hit me, I needed to say “yes” to that trip and make it work. At the end of the day, if we don’t say “yes” to new adventures, to pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, what’s the point? We need to grow, we need to learn, we need to explore and that often comes about when we are thrown out of our rhythms, our jam-packed, carefully curated schedules.
For me, Alaska was life changing. I fell hard for our far Northern state and while there, I kept thinking to myself, I’m so glad we made this work. Had we not, had we said, no, we’re too busy, had we not moved stuff around and fit it in, we never would have had that experience.
Some of the best memories of my life have been spontaneous, like jumping on a flight bound for Portland when I was living in Honolulu 3 hours before it left to spend the weekend at home with Nick, like booking flights to Amsterdam for a long weekend last year only a month before because we needed a serious break from work, like heading to Iceland for the first time years ago when other plans fell through for Thanksgiving and it ended up being a place we now go back to often because we love it so much. All those trips, they were all ones that I had to fit in to crazy schedules, and all of them were in one way or another life changing. So the moral of the story is this: we’re all busy, we all have a million things going on and a million things to coordinate, but at the end of the day, sometimes when you throw the schedule out the window, when you learn to let go and say “yes,” amazing things will happen.