You’ll wring your hands and check your bank account… Sigh heavily and stroke your chin. You’ll review calendars on both paper and glass for forgotten obligations. You will check your bank account again, and probably one more time. There is a level of stress associated with the unexpected allure of great fun with friends; when you receive that text. The message proposing what is at first an outlandish idea, but quickly goes from “what if?” to “when and where?”. In my experiences, the stress is for naught a majority of the time. Because spontaneity always wins. And it should.
There exists great value in being spontaneous. In the past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of making two spur-of-the-moment decisions. and I can safely report that I am better off having done so. Both weekend adventures led me South, in the direction of live music and close friends. Two days before Nelsonville Music Festival, I agreed to join a caravan of 10+ to camp just 30 minutes outside of Athens for some sway-in-the-breeze folk and blues in Southern Ohio. Two weeks after that, and only five hours before the first performer kicked off the festival, I committed to meet friends at mega-festival, Bonnaroo. This particular decision involved extending my work day by many hours before finally packing and getting on the road after midnight. You gotta give a little to get a little… #Roadtripmore, as we say.
There are a million different things you can do to experience the rush a spontaneous decision brings. Festivals fit the mold perfectly and there’s likely one scheduled within driving distance of your current location this weekend or close to it. No matter what you do, the zest of spontaneity, to me, is the changing of one’s physical or mental environment in a way not intended or prepared for. As we’ve said here before, it’s in our nature as humans to adventure. People aren’t meant to be sedentary. There’s a fine line between consistency and putting a glass ceiling on your ability to get the most out of life for the sake of routine. Spontaneity should have you waking up the next day briefly questioning where the hell you are, and, once the cobwebs clear, being surprised and pleased that the answer is different than most other mornings.
The most exciting part is the situational juxtaposition. I was watching Kanye West fail miserably to win-over the masses at Bonnaroo (again) instead of watching another episode of whatever-the-hell on Netflix. I stomped my feet to the Avett Brothers in Nelsonville at a time I would have been dialing for pizza in Lakewood. That’s the take-away, those are the rewards for leaving routine behind! Memories that last and leave impacts with different depth and shape than more common experiences. The suddenness of it all adds a layer of appreciation that fades after weeks of planning and preparation.
I wrung my hands and double-checked every calendar I own. I reviewed my finances more than twice. At the end of the day, spontaneity absolutely won. Per usual. I hope it does for you too.