They say spontaneity is the spice of life, but carpe diem is not a phrase in my vocabulary. It is more like make a list for seizing tomorrow. Then make another list to seize next month and next year. So a spontaneous vacation…totally not on this momma’s to do list.
I’ve been planning vacations out from start to finish since I was a kid. I’d see a Disney commercial on television and tell my parents it was a spring break sign. I’d start making lists on napkins in restaurants and detailing all it would take to get there. Once the internet came into my existence and my family purchased a computer, planning became even more obsessive. The choices seemed endless and a well typed list helped my need for planning and control to be satiated. A spontaneous trip as a child left me a tad unnerved and I definitely haven’t participated in such things as an adult.
Now at 36, the life I thought I had planned out pretty well, isn’t following the list or schedule, so I am learning to let go of a LOT. Motherhood and teaching 5 year olds also helps in that aspect. This past year of life has been anything but planned and who knows what tomorrow will bring anymore? I don’t want to let moments pass by so when I got the urge to go to Florida a week before spring break started, I went with it.
I started pricing out flights, rental cars, hotels, etc. I could make a quick budget get away to Florida. It would be tight and I would be breaking all of my financial rules, but I don’t think spontaneity follows rules.
I begged my sister to drive down with me. She couldn’t. I started jokingly asking teachers to drive with me. My mom signed up my dad to drive with me if I couldn’t find anyone else. Then the day before break began, my teacher friend, Ashley said, “Let me see if my grandpa wants a visit from me and I’ll let you know.” She texted me later that it was a go!
Within 12 hours, I secured a rental SUV, told a friend I would be joining the family in St. Pete Beach for a few days and began making a packing list. I mentioned to another friend I was spontaneously driving to Florida and still needed to find lodging for Orlando. She said she would cash in some Hilton Rewards for me and she booked me a hotel right near Disney Springs! #blessed
It was unbelievable how everything fell into place in less than a day. I took a last-minute half day off of work, shopped for car ride snacks at Target, went home to pack, took a short nap and was ready to leave by 11:00 Thursday evening. V and I picked up Miss Ashley and off we went!
I forgot to mention that when I went to pick up the rental vehicle, they didn’t have any SUV’s left, so I was offered a tiny car that looked like a death trap, or a giant Dodge Ram with extended cab. Have I also mentioned I am only 5 feet tall and had to use mountain climbing gear to get into the driver’s seat? Since my spring break attitude was, “hmmm, whatever!” I didn’t let it phase me and I honestly loved driving the beast after the 5 minutes of looking for the gear shift which happens to be a dial in the dashboard. Interesting.
I can think of few moments of my life where I haven’t had some sort of anxiety or continuous train of thought about the present and future racing through my mind. But the whole ride down, the entire time there, and the whole ride back, I felt free from my thoughts and worries. Sitting on the beach and looking at my baby girl play in the sun, surf, and sand was energizing. I was reminded that God made the ocean go just so far, and placed the moon and stars in the sky and told them to shine in the evening Gulf of Mexico breezes. This is nature’s playground! The beach is the perfect example of God’s almighty power and His life-giving peace. It was just what my soul needed to know. No matter what storm life sends, His power and peace are endless like the waves that crash on the beach.
Friend time. Girl time. Mommy-daughter time. Laughs. Pool drinks. Beach cabana. Delicious food. Disney Springs. Smiles. Love. Life. Rest. Reset.
I’m not recommending you abandon all rules and principles in your life every time you are feeling spontaneous. But if you are like me and tend to crave control, there is something life-giving and freeing in the unstructured, unplanned, go-with-the-flow that can be a wonderful reminder of the freedom found when we let go of control.
I’m still learning. Still growing. Life is good. Michigan is great, but Florida is better in April. Do something spontaneous and keep making your house a love filled home. High five for home!
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