“I love how spontaneous you are” said a friend of mine yesterday, after I had agreed to our dinner with a day’s notice. Another friend from Bangkok was pleased that I had for once planned my trip with some lead time – booking the tickets a full week in advance. My parents get anxious as every year I keep postponing my flight tickets to Finland until month or two prior the trip – their trips get fully booked and planned at least half a year in advance (actually that would be considered spontaneous for them!)
Spontaneous. Yes, I would consider myself spontaneous – being capable of it, enjoying and cherishing it. But “being spontaneous” obviously means very different things for many, reflecting a variety of time spans and level of planning.
To me, I felt well planned with my weekend get-a-way to Bangkok being booked nearly a week in advance and extremely planned as I confirmed my Finland-holiday more than 2 months prior the travel dates. Equally, I thought making dinner plans for the next day was definitely planning, not being spontaneous. In the everyday living, spontaneity to me means living in the spur of the moment. Hopping out of the bus at an unplanned stop just to explore an interesting sight that caught my attention. Getting a new haircut in a place I happen to be strolling by. Skipping a training to have an ad hoc date with a friend.
I’ve made many spontaneous trips as well, hopping on a plane in a day’s notice or event less. Many of my moves have been rather spontaneous as well – I moved to Singapore with roughly 2 weeks prep time, to Vietnam 3 weeks after having accepted a job offer, but that time included a first work trip to Cambodia and a very spontaneous 2 week holiday in Finland. That was a move I could call stressful, as I actually ended up having less than 24 hours altogether for packing up, saying goodbyes etc. My first move to Asia was quite spontaneous as well, with 3 weeks lead time but including a move out of Berlin and holiday and work related training in Finland.
It could be said, I’m not much of a planner – in my free time. Although I don’t mind doing spontaneous work tasks and meetings, at work I give high value for advanced planning and being organized. I’m absolutely always on time for any meeting and I list my daily, weekly and monthly priorities to stay focused and planned. Perhaps, because of this need for efficiency at work, I like to keep my private life unplanned-for. It’s the part of my life that doesn’t require planning, schedules or efficiency. I’m never stressed with tight schedules at work but even a specific time for sports training can get me agitated in my leisure time. It’s an interesting balance that nourishes both of my sides – the organized and efficient, and the “free as a bird”.
As one might suspect, these blog texts are written quite spontaneously as well. A topic pops up in my mind and gets written out here. Now, having satisfied this spontaneous text about my spontaneously-balanced lifestyle, it’s time to respect the schedules again and head to my favorite yoga class to practice standing on my head. That’s unbalancing enough for tonight!