Plan FOR downtime not WHAT the downtime is – an exercise in planned sponteneity

I am a planner. At times I absolutely own the title of “over-planner” or “Julie, Cruise Director” that my husband bestows on me.

Mum, wife, business owner, event planner and only 168 hours in a week, what being organized does is actually give me the maximum free time for the things I cherish, time outside, a glass of wine and a movie night, hanging with no agenda with the family.  I actually cherish being  in the moment and free of all the “labels” that carry with them responsibility… and just for a brief moment to just be… Christine.

I would love to say that I live in the moment, completely carefree all the time, but if that was the case my kids wouldn’t get to school on time, or the $1.50 for school lunch might get missed, or the hydro bill might not get paid, or a client might be left waiting.  At times, although it seems like a complete juxtaposition of thought and word, I have found that “planning” for downtime is what allows me to experience those amazing “unplanned” moments and experiences that often are the most impactful.

Last night was an example of that.

I had “planned” for a night away from home and knew daddy and the girls would have a great 24 hours together- I didn’t have a list because I have the most awesome husband who can seamlessly step in anytime, so armed with just a few reminders like swimming lesson timing, I set off for my evening in the city filled with wine tasting and stimulating company of some of the most fabulous entrepreneur women I am so lucky to call friends. 

Planned sponteneity
So the planned part was that a night in the city would allow me to linger and have another glass of wine, the planned part was that someone else had offered to pick me up and the planned part was that my sister in law would leave the back door open for me.

Having someone else drive meant I completely let go of details like “where are we going, where will we park”- someone else was on it – so instead in the car I got to catch up with Sandy Gerber, also in the back seat.

Having someone else drive meant I completely let go of time at our ladies evening- with my own car I would have had the choice to leave earlier or late, the concept of time melted away and I was much more “present” to the wonderful energy in the room

Having almost a dozen pretty type A women in the room (and I say that in the nicest of ways) there was no shortage of women able and willing to make decisions like how we were going to go about the wine tasting, and have a chance to check in with each other, people like Sandy Gerber and Alison Koch (pictured here), Linda Chu, Michele Soregaroli, Jennie WeeksPatti-Jo WeiseMelanie Bitner, Susan Charara, Erika Siverston and Alyson Jones. I 110% let go of everything other than complete enjoyment of the company at hand.

At the end of the evening, about 12.30am I got to my in law’s to find the back door locked. Likely my teenage nephew had come earlier than me and because he didn’t know I was coming, just locked the door and went to bed.  I knocked on the front door but no answer.. and again, my planner brain started going: “maybe I should drive back to Squamish, maybe I should… what if I….” and then I let go.

I checked in to the nearby Pinnacle Hotel (it’s 1am by this time) and as I lay on my luxurious bed and turned the light off, I had to chuckle at the turn of events. In the morning, no agenda, no times required to be anywhere.. I just had the gift of TIME. 

I ended up having a coffee and exploring on the internet the topic of human energy, vibrations and auras. I know it sounds crazy – but for the past few years I have been drawn to better understand the connection between ourselves, our thoughts, beliefs and actions.. and the world around us.. but I never seem to have the TIME to explore my thoughts. Last night, as conversation tends to flow between women- the topics we covered were SO broad, but we did land on the topic of energy, intuition, healing as one of the ladies was going to be attending a Wayne Dyer conference this weekend. Normally I would have enjoyed the conversation last night then not been able to dig deeper for lack of time… and here I was, with nothing but time. 

Now, in The Lobby of the Pinnacle enjoying coffee, eggs benny and blogging, I wonder what the rest of the day will hold. A bit of work, a walk outside while catching up with a dear friend… who knows.
So that is the wonderful juxtaposition of PLANNED SPONTENAEITY.
The 24 hours away was planned, and because I chose to be OK with spontaneous change of course as it happened, I feel as though this 24 hour period has given me so so much more of what I needed.

 I often talk about the pause button we need to press in our busy lives. As a “planner personality”, I have found what works for me is in some cases to plan FOR downtime, but not plan THE downtime itself. 

What do you think? How do you balance and sponteneity ? Share your thoughts below so we can all learn from each other!