Life Unplanned

This past weekend started on an off-footing. (I don’t want to say the wrong foot, but definitely…. Off.) We had talked about going up to the mountains to look at the changing Aspen leaves but the morning whiled away a bit and then it was too late. We ended up cleaning the house (probably a better choice…) and going to a local fall festival (hooray for our neighborhood!) All good activities, but it wasn’t what I had planned for.

img_1799When Frank and I first took the StrengthsFinder test, I was annoyed that he had all happy sounding strengths: Harmony, Relator, etc. Mine were all harsh sounding: Intellection, Context, Maximizer. So many hard consonants!! But, they are totally accurate – I’m not an easy-going, go with the flow type of person. I like plans and schedules.

One of the downsides to Intellection as a strength is that it is easy to become discontent with actual life. The way I envision something happening and the way it plays out in reality can be two very different things.

My friend, Alex wrote a book earlier this year called Loving My Actual Life. She takes her readers on a 9-month experiment in looking at and loving the mundane, every day, beautiful life that we are living right now. The title itself has stayed with me over the months since I first read the book – my actual life needs to be loved. Not just tolerated or liked but loved.

That’s not something that comes naturally – I’m not an effusive feeler, shouting from the rooftops what an amazing experience everything is. But, that deep-down, love for even a neighborhood fall festival, rather than the mountains? I need to remember that. We had fun, we hung out as a family, Bea got her face painted like a unicorn. How better to spend a Saturday morning?

It wasn’t what was planned, but I’m learning, slowly, to remember that these unplanned activities are the memories our girls are forming. And I want them to remember me enjoying them alongside, rather than overthinking what we should have been doing.

Are you a planner or do you thrive on spontaneity?

livinThis post is Day 3 of the Write 31 Day Challenge. I’m spending the month of October writing about the StrengthsFinder test. You can find the entire series over at Live Your Strengths page

 

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7 thoughts on “Life Unplanned

  1. I read the Mud Room just before this and they are great companions today. I’ve not taken the Strength Finders but can tell by your descriptions that I’m more in line with you. Sometimes I feel like my family might think I’m opposed to fun! I need to practice what you’ve described here, Annie. Maybe more so with our grown kids.

    1. More so with grown kids?? So, life doesn’t magically get easier? 😉 I’ve been at work all day- need to check out Mudroom still. Such a balance, right? Planning & spontaneity. And embracing who I am in all of it.

  2. Would a spontaneous person write for 31 days? Ha! Ha! I am a planner and envision much that never comes to fruition. If I live with this strength do I need to appreciate the “lets do this” attitude of some of my kids?

  3. I’m a planner by nature but I thrive when I let go and be spontaneous… I’m learning that more and more, often the hard way! Great post!

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