My natural inclination is to plan. I like to decide what is next, next and next. Many times this comes in handy. For instance, this summer when my family accompanied me to my performance locations, before we left I would do an internet search and find the museums and parks. When the family dropped me off at the library to perform I could hand my husband the list of options and our little mini-vacations ran smoothly.
The last show of the summer, though, was in fabulous Bartlesville, OK, which has so many wonderful things to visit, but where, unfortunately, every museum and wildlife reserve were closed on the day we would be there. I had *nothing* to write down on my list! What would we do?
After dropping off the show bunny at the library, we simply drove down the street and saw an “open” sign outside the Bartlesville Museum. Within five minutes our children had pronounced this museum made up for all the closed ones. One of the rooms was transformed in to a one-room schoolhouse and we were allowed to use the little chalk boards, recite from the McGuffey text books, and take turns playing teacher from the front of the classroom. We had such a good time and my son joked with the curator, “This is the first time I’ve been in a classroom” (home-school humor).
I shouldn’t have worried (but I did) when it was time for me to head to the library and leave my family for two hours with no plan (gasp!). My brilliant husband found a MALL….with a CANDY STORE. No internet search would have suggested such a fabulous sightseeing choice. Driving through town after the performance, we screeched that mini-van to a stop in front of a pet store and spent a lovely 30-minutes exploring the shelves and admiring the animals.
Through a conversation with a stranger, we found out the administration building at the Weslyan college was the historical “La Quinta” mansion built during the depression and it was open for self-lead tours. Awe-struck by the amazing rooms I accidentally walked in to the president of the school’s office (awkward!) and then–surprise!–we were treated to a story-telling by the beautiful Richard Gere look-alike.
The entire day was a collection of lovely serendipities…one path leading to the next path: no plan necessary.
The magical day made me take a closer look at my regular day-to-day living. I’ve found that if I simply follow the path set before me, many times I am lead down paths that offer greater joy than if I had planned and built the path before setting foot upon it. And so now–I purposely plan :)–to simply follow the path before me….with happiness and expectation.