The Art of Planned Spontaneity

When you’re sick, or hurting, and your life feels like it’s no longer in your control, you find yourself planning out every moment of every day. You do this to ensure you save what little energy you have for the highest priority things. In the process, you lose the ability to be spontaneous. You just never know how you’ll feel in a day, an hour, or a minute.

That blows. There’s no two ways about it.

When I was at my lowest point, when I was barely taking care of myself let alone getting to work or being socially active, I fell into a deep depression about my lack of spontaneity. My life was boring and too planned out for me to enjoy. After hiding away in my home feeling sorry for myself, I came up with a plan to get back in action. I started what I like to call Planned Spontaneity. Ironic, I know.

I created a list of things I would like to do on a whim if I had the time or the energy for it. The list ranged from simple things around the house, to activities with friends, and even big ticket items like road trips and vacations. I arranged the list from low energy to high, so that it was easy to dive into. I kept that list close by, and when the time came that I felt the slightest burst of extra energy I dove into the list looking for the right “spontaneous” activity to do.

I discovered that the hardest part of being spontaneous while being sick was the thinking. I wasted so much time and effort coming up with activity ideas, and found I would easily give up. The concept of the list wasn’t perfect, because it was still somewhat planned, but it did give me ideas. It cut out the over-thinking, and helped me decide what wonderful random thing to enjoy right here and right now.

When you feel broken all the time, you feel like you can’t do anything a lot of the time. Taking away some of the guess work, and reducing the stressed out over-thinking, can give you a sense of (the smallest bit of) freedom. And we’ll take all the personal freedom we can get.


**Dawnie blathers on over at The Dawnie Project, and can be found muttering on twitter from time to time.


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