How This Type A Planner Spent a Weekend 'Doing Nothing'--and Loving It

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I am a planner.

I love lists.

I schedule everything.

I'm busy. It's the only way I get everything done.

In high school, I kept a list of everything I wore, so I wouldn't repeat an outfit too often. (My 16-year-old self would be aghast to know that my 30-year-old self often sometimes wears the same dress twice in one weekend.)

I make notes of the meals I eat in my planner, along with my workouts, any personal commitments, etc.

This summer in Honduras, with no phone, no watch, and no schedule, I somehow found ways to indulge my inner planner. My roommate, Jessi, and I took walks every afternoon. Each night, I would ask her what she wanted to do the next day, mostly as a way to make conversation.

She good-naturedly made plans with me each night. Finally, after a few days, she laughed.

"We're in paradise," she said, gesturing at the lush rainforest that surrounded us. "And we have nothing to do."

I laughed at myself and ignored my mental to-do list. Then came time to leave. With only one day left in this Honduran utopia, I had things I needed to do.

I needed to take a shower. (It had been days since I'd properly washed my hair.)

I needed to pack. (The taxi was coming at 4 a.m.)

I needed to pull my clothes off the line.

There was time enough for all that. I had only a few hours left of my vacation, and I was going to enjoy them. I threw my laundry in a pile on my unmade bed, atop my open backpack. I put on a pair of swim shorts, slathered on some sunscreen and ran down to the river.

For awhile, I bouldered up and down the shores, clinging to the rocks and working up a sweat. Once exhausted, I made my way to the middle of the shallow, fast-moving Rio Cangrejal. Like the lizards who called the rocks home, I lay down and stared at the clouds. I fell fast asleep.

It was blissful: The water crashing against the rocks, the sun beating down, and the sounds of the jungle lulling me into one of the best naps of my life. I awoke awhile later, tummy rosy from too much sun but happy with my random, head-clearing adventure and respite.

This holiday weekend, I decided to invoke that same attitude. Three days stretched before me, luxuriously free of any commitments or responsibilities. Friday morning, I felt that to-do list growing: I should run on Saturday, go to yoga on Sunday and Monday, hit the farmer's market for the last of the summer tomatoes…

Enough, I said. No planning.

So each morning we awoke with no plan, living each day "au feeling," as my boyfriend likes to call this spontaneous lifestyle. I did do all those things, and more, like hiking through a state park, exploring his hometown, and preserving vegetables for winter, but none of it was planned.

It just happened, as did the spontaneous naps, weekend happy hours, long walks through the city in the early hours, and much, much more.

Could I live "au feeling" all the time? No way. Should you? Probably not. Schedules, responsibilities and the like have their time and place.

But let this be a reminder to take some time to live "au feeling"--turn off the phone, ignore the to-do list and set out on foot or in the car with no destination in mind.

When was the last time you spent some time relaxing and not living by your schedule? Are you a scheduled person, or do you prefer a more laid-back lifestyle? 

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