It was a nice warm weekend, and I was sitting at our kitchen table, watching my mother lose her mind. She was stressed to the core and had at least 50 lists of things she wanted to complete before the end of the day, week, month and year! At one point, she went to the store to pick up some groceries, her number five on the ‘day list.’ I picked up this list, one of the many lists from the counter and I began to read: 1. pay bills 2. walk the dogs 3. call dad 4. clean out my car 5. groceries 6. eat lunch. When I read ‘eat lunch’ it made me wonder, why would you need to remind yourself to eat? Then it occurred to me that over half the things on that list could be done without a list. You could complete those tasks when you think them up, one at a time, spontaneously. Why create a list that overwhelms you?
This thought stuck with me for a while, I walked up to my room and took a look at my own list. 1. clean room 2. finish homework 3. clean bathroom 4. call Zain. I had created a list of my own that was exactly like the ones my mother had made. I felt that I had made some type of revelation. I turned on my radio and stared at my wall. I began to ask myself, “How much of my life do I plan out?”
I plan what days I’ll hang out with what friend, what we’ll do, how long we’ll do it for. I follow the same routine everyday. I even do my homework in a certain order! Then I thought back to the days when I was younger; the days when everything seemed less stressful. As a kid, nothing is planned. You get bored and you run across the street to see if your neighbor wants to play. You take your bike and go exploring. Now fast forward to the present. The days when a friend came over unexpectedly, and we just drove around town is the most fun I have. When my family all happens to be in the kitchen at the same time and someone pulls out a game, we always remember those days.
I came out of my trance and took another look at that list. I tore it up, and the words slowly fell to the ground. I decided I’d see what my friend was doing. When she opened the door she asked what I was doing there. In response I said, “Let’s do something.” “Like what?” she replied. And with my final reply I said, “The first thing that comes to mind!” Ever since that moment I have fully believed in spontaneity at any time, anyplace, doing anything.