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Susan's Blog

Learning to be Spontaneous

Susan Marek

Yesterday, my family and I took a spontaneous trip to Seattle.  A few days before, I got an email newsletter from a bookstore in Seattle announcing a talk by one of my favorite authors, Richard Bach.  His writings were seminal to my spiritual development, and I thought it would be wonderful to hear him speak.  I checked the bookstore website at least three times to confirm the day and time.  I shared the information with my husband, who also has been influenced by Bach's writings, and he was excited to make the trip.  He checked the website out a couple of times for the details and directions.

After the initial excitement of potentially meeting Richard Bach wore off, my ego kicked in and convinced me not to go.  Too much to do, too long a drive (3.5 hours), too hard to take the kids, etc.  I talked myself out of going, yet my higher self kept at me, saying it would be wonderful to see him, might be fun to take a drive.  Sunday morning, the day of the talk, my husband put his foot down, despite my whining, and announced that we were going whether I liked it or not.  Literally, five minutes later, we were all in the car and on our way to Seattle.  The kids watched movies or read a book, I read aloud from Richard Bach's newest book, "Hypnotizing Maria."  The time passed quickly, and soon we were in Seattle.

We found a great parking place, which is no small feat there, and entered the bookstore, ready for his talk.  Things were falling right into place.  The Universe was conspiring to make this a fabulous day. When I asked at the counter about what room it was in, the clerk told me that the talk was yesterday, on Saturday.  I couldn't believe it!  My husband and I were shocked!  We left, and tried to figure out what had happened.  We were so thorough.  We had checked the website at least five times between the two of us.  There was no way we could be wrong.  Due to the miracle of modern technology, once we got back to the car, we were able to go to their website and check their calendar.  It said Saturday, not Sunday!   I thought, "This is not some random mistake.  This is a bizarre circumstance and must have some meaning."

We decided to salvage the day by going to the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame at Seattle Center.  All of us absolutely loved it!  We, as a family, are huge sci-fi fans and were able to see many of the props from our favorite movies.  We were relaxed and enjoyed walking around Seattle Center, seeing the Space Needle and the Fun Forest.  I also made a mental note of some other places we would see the next time we made the trip up.  We ended our day at Buca di Beppo, one of our favorite restaurants.  We don't have one in Portland, so it was a special treat.  Happy and full, we left Seattle and headed home.

On the way home, I finished reading the book aloud to my husband.  The kids slept and played quietly, and we were home before we knew it.  Looking back at the day, I realized that it wasn't about seeing Richard Bach.  I am sure it would have been wonderful to hear him speak, but the day was about much more.  It was about being a family, trying something new, going on an adventure.  For me, it was about learning to be spontaneous, something I am not very good at.  I follow rules, make plans, and then make back up plans for my plans.  I research, make lists, read and re-read.  I rarely just get up and go.  I have to admit that I really enjoyed the spontaneity of the day.  Nothing horrible happened because I didn't have each minute planned out.  I was taught that it is OK to fly by the seat of your pants and trust that everything will work out.  Could I do that everyday?  No, but I certainly could let the Universe take the driver's seat once in a while.  I think I am starting to enjoy being a passenger.