Remember the days before marriage and/or kids? Remember when you could be dressed for work, heading out the front door and your friend(s) would call, “Dude, we’re heading to Vegas. Be downstairs in 10 minutes.” Chances are you wouldn’t think twice. Your next call would be to the office and you’d be off on some crazy-ass adventure. Can’t imagine such a thing now. And, of course, we bitch about it. Endlessly. Vegas, and what it represents, isn’t dead, however. We just need to redefine spontaneity.
We have to accept that impromptu trips to Vegas, or anywhere, are probably events of the past (at least when the kids are younger). But, it doesn’t mean we can’t make some crazy, fun things happen for ourselves. It’s just that spontaneity now takes a bit of planning. Understanding that reopens the door for adventure.
I recently found out that a friend of mine’s band is playing a gig on The Sunset Strip. This is huge. Enormous. The Strip! I found out a week before the show. No chance, right? Nope. We’re going. We have to go. I wouldn’t miss this. So, even as we lined up babysitting for the kid and made all the requisite plans that needed to fall into place for this trip to happen, it feels terribly spontaneous. I’m getting the same buzz of the idea of this trip as I used to get off the “we’re leaving in five minutes” challenges my friends used to lay on me. That’s spontaneity redefined in the age of parenting.
It happens with our kids, too. We just don’t let it happen. We get a plan in our heads and we’re hellbent on executing that plan. Maybe it’s a trip to the beach, or to a certain restaurant. We’re going, damnit! There are so many times, though, when the kid suggests something else. What would happen if we just said, “Sure, let’s do that.” No, it’s not Vegas, but it’s spontaneity. And, we need to allow ourselves to have it.
It’s amazing the freedom that comes with just living in the moment. We forget how to do that, I think, when we have kids. When we have more responsibility than we can handle. I used to be the king of getting pissed off or frustrated when “the plan,” as I imagined it, didn’t happen exactly as I imagined. Somehow, I thought if it went differently, I’d failed in some way. Now, though, it’s time to just let go and let it happen. You’ll be surprised what opens up.