On Being Spontaneous

As mentioned in my last post, Friday was a day of much pondering. I don’t know what it was, but I just kept finding that my mind was drawn back to the past, which is something I don’t do much. After I thought of that perfect day of horseback riding so many years ago, my mind was drawn to a different memory with that same person. This friend had been particularly down in the dumps, and he had texted me one Friday afternoon to see what I was up to. I responded with something to the effect of, “Working on homework. Won’t be done for hours.”

We ended the text conversation, and as I turned back to my homework, I sighed a bit within myself. I wanted to be there to comfort my friend, but I had way too much I “just had to get done.” All of a sudden, I recalled I quote I had often heard in church. The quote went, “Never let a problem to be solved be more important than a person to be loved.”

The principle took on new meaning as I finally saw how it applied to the context of my own life. I grabbed my car keys, abandoned my homework, and I went to go find my friend. We went to a movie, had a bite to eat, and ended up talking for hours. Needless to say, we BOTH felt better by the end.

Last Friday, I was having a bit of deja vu–I had hours and hours of grading to do, and Fridays have historically been the day that I’ve worked the latest. Matt has come to learn to not expect me until at least 7 on Fridays because I’m trying so hard to wrap up my grading for the week and prepare my lessons for the upcoming week. Even though I didn’t get a text from Matt asking what I was up to, my mind went back to that other Friday long ago, and I made a decision right then and there:

I was going to be spontaneous. I was going to let a date night with my husband take precedence over the mountain of stuff I had to do.

I started bustling around like a maniac in my classroom, tidying up some last-minute things and getting my stacks of papers ready to be graded on Monday. I shut and locked my door, and I shouted to a fellow teacher, “I’m just going to do it! I’m leaving here early.”

She laughed and wished me a good weekend, and I gleefully sped off to my car to surprise my hubby. I’m sure Matt was a bit taken aback when I called him at only 3:30 in the afternoon from the school. I bet he was outright shocked when I told him to meet me at the movie theater in 20 to go catch Wreck-It Ralph, a movie we’ve wanted to see ever since we saw the trailer.

I felt like a teenager again as we walked in the movie theater, giggling as if we were playing hooky. We found the movie to be delightful, laughed through the whole thing, and decided to splurge on a Pizza Hut pizza on our way home (something we’ve never done before seeing as how much cheaper Little Caesar’s is). And instead of just zoning out in front of the t.v. for the rest of the night after, we stayed up and played games, fit a puzzle, and just enjoyed those extra hours of time together we don’t often get.

It was a perfect night. And you know what I realized? I have the tendency to focus more on things to be done than on people sometimes. It’s something I need to work on. The good thing is, last Friday gave me a pretty good jumpstart on that.

What have you done that’s spontaneous lately?

Can’t think of anything within the last month? Well, as a fully-certified teacher, I’m officially giving you a homework assignment: do something totally spontaneous this week–something that puts people ahead of tasks and relationships [with yourself or with others] ahead of things. And then you need to either send me a comment about it, or you need to do a blog post about it.

Can’t wait to hear your responses!

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