The Art of Ditching The Plan

Aug 21, 2017


I'm a planner. I like to know what's going to happen, I like to be in control of what's going on, and I like to have an exit strategy if I end up not wanting to be there anymore.

It's Sunday afternoon and I've just gotten home after leaving my apartment at 7:00 am. Yesterday. I'm covered in dirt, I have grease marks all over me, I haven't showered in days, I'm a little sunburnt and I'm pretty sure I smell enough not to be allowed anywhere a respectable human being should go. My weekend did not go as planned, but I have a feeling you know where I'm going with this...

I had the BEST TIME.

Because I have one of my biggest events for work on Monday (today for the purposes of this post), I've barely been home and I haven't slept well from stress. Yes, I have done everything I could do and now we'll just have to see how it goes but, nevertheless, I worry. I figured I would need a relaxing weekend. I'd planned to spend a few hours with my friend Julie who is visiting CO with her family, have a quiet Saturday night doing meal prep and laundry, then going to church and the driving range on Sunday.

I got up early Saturday morning, drove to the airport to pick up Julie and we had a great morning. We went to brunch at Maddie's, I showed her around where I work, we walked around Wash Park and even went through an open house in a cute neighborhood (I SO WANT THAT HOUSE! Only $1.3 million! ;) ).

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When I went to drop her off to get her rental car, there was quite a snafu and they had nothing for her. Actually, none of the rental places we called had any cars available. I told her not to worry and that I'd drive her to pick up her friend from the airport and take them both to Boulder where Julie's family would come down from the mountains where they were staying and pick them both up. Sure, it was a dent in my "plan," but I wasn't going to leave them stranded and I really didn't mind - I love Julie!

Well, once we were leaving the airport, Julie asked if I just wanted to come up to the lodge with them, hang out and stay the night. My anxiety immediately said to me: "No! That will completely mess up your plan! You probably won't sleep well. You'll be tired tomorrow, you'll get back home too late for church, blah, blah, blah."

You know what I did? I told that voice to shove it. After much practice, I've learned to tell that voice that it's wrong. That spending time with people I love (and I LOVE her family) will be much more fun, refreshing and memorable than a night at home with Netflix. So I said yes. With literally the clothes on my back, I headed up for an evening in the mountains.

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Yes, I hadn't showered and had to wear a mishmash of other people's clothes to dinner and the put my same Saturday outfit back on for Sunday, but no one cared. Yes, I had nothing with me but my phone and water bottle, but I didn't care. Even in the morning, when I hoped to get back home with plenty of time to go through my Sunday "routine," I said screw it and I stayed. I went on a walk, I had breakfast, I sat around and chatted, I went and rented bikes and rode through a gorgeous mountain pass.

I had conversations. I met new people. I got to see the beautiful mountains. Most importantly, I felt welcomed, loved and appreciated.

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You've heard it before, but I'll say it again: life is best outside of your comfort zone. It's less scary stay at home and do the things you know you like to do. It's easy to read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk around your neighborhood, or even see the same person you see every week. But when I'm actually around other people, when I give up the plan and I do things that I don't normally do or can't control, that's when I feel the most fulfilled, the most alive, most in-the-moment, and the most like myself.

Dear rental car companies, thank you for being rude yesterday. Love, Katie.