September 19, 2011

Plans? Who needs them!

Lately, I feel like I’ve finally struck a good balance between planning and not planning. I used to be totally uptight and scheduled about my plans – I started to panic if I didn’t have every minute of every weekend accounted for by Tuesday. Forget the two day Rule for a date; if someone didn’t make plans with me a week in advance, they were out of luck. As you can imagine, this led to me missing out on seeing a lot of my more spontaneous friends. I had already filled in the gaps in plans with various chores and errands, and I was loath to change them just because of some friend who didn’t have it as together as me.

Then a few weeks ago, along came a weekend where, try as I might, I couldn’t find anything to do on Saturday during the day. All my friends were busy and I couldn’t find any events in New York City that I really wanted to attend. In the past, this gap in plans (12 hours without anything to do, oh noes!) would have been cause for me to plan a trip to visit friends or family outside of the city. But this time, I decided to just roll with it and see where the day took me. As it turned out, a friend who hadn’t been able to commit to something before called me up, and we met for brunch. And then, while walking home from a glorious afternoon basking in the sun in Hudson River Park, I ran into a college friend whom I hadn’t seen in five years. I ended up filling out my day quite nicely – even though I didn’t have any plans to begin with.

Since then, I’ve now embraced the concept of not planning. It hasn’t been quite as easy a transition as that; I’ve found that I’m not totally comfortable with having an entire weekend without anything lined up. But as long as I have some options for things I could attend if I really needed something to do and a Project Runway marathon isn’t cutting it, and as long as I have something lined up for Sunday night – I’m good to go.

So this weekend? I had happy hour plans for Friday night, and then nothing planned for the first of the weekend until dinner on Sunday night. As it turned out, my best friend and I had a bit too much to drink on Friday, which meant that I was very grateful I didn’t have anywhere to be on Saturday. Well, other than the bar from the night before.

Besides my run, I mostly spent Saturday lying around – necessary with my level of energy. By Saturday night, I was still wiped out, but I got a text from a friend wanting to get dinner, so I spent the perfect low-key night grabbing my favorite flatbread pizza and then stopping by a wine bar for one glass of wine before crashing into bed. I woke up on Sunday a lot more well-rested than the day before, and after my usual weekend coffee klatch with my best friend, I actually had quite a busy day ahead.

The Upper West Side JCC was having an open house with free classes all day, so I shuttled back and forth between there and my apartment (1 mile away – not a bad walk/jog for four trips). At 11am, I attended a knife skills culinary class that got me chopping and brunoising like a pro. After class, I headed home to do laundry and practice my knife skills by cutting all kinds of delicious veggies into a healthy French stew. (Easy and delicious recipe: celery, carrot, turnip, leek, Napa cabbage. Cut finely, simmer in water for about 20 minutes, then salt/pepper to taste. I microplane grated fresh parmesan on top for extra richness).

After soup and laundry, it was back to the JCC I went, this time for a Zumba class. Despite the fact that I had just done laundry and all my favorite gym clothes were clean, I wore an outfit that was decidedly unflattering, emphasizing my stomach/butt and making me look about 20 pounds heavier than I really am. I rationalized that I didn’t care – I was going to work out at a not-very-sexy gym with mostly older people and no cute guys, so why did it matter?

Oh, I’ll tell you why it mattered. It mattered a lot when the instructor told us that this class, we were going to be learning a routine in the first half of class, then going out and performing it flash-mob style on the street. Yikes! So much for my looks not mattering, now that I was going to be performing for a live audience of… everyone in my neighborhood. Putting my embarrassment aside, I did the dance and had a blast – even garnering compliments from some of my nervous fellow classmates, who told me they were following me because I was a good dancer. Woo hoo! I rock. I even flashed an ear-to-ear grin at the hop-on-hop-off bus that got stuck at a red light next to our performance, leading to all the tourists snapping photos of us dancing. Helloooooooooooo, Iowa!

The rest of my night was the usual – packing, cleaning, last minute errands, and Sunday night dinner with my friend Alex. And after a blissful night’s sleep on some freshly laundered sheets and my new heavier fall comforter, I woke up ready to start the week with a bang. Ah – the perfect weekend 🙂


1 thought on “Plans? Who needs them!”

  1. i can only imagine your dance moves in the outfit you described 😉 i’m kind of inbetween when it comes to planning. of course with a baby, all plans are tentative at best. and it often helps to have chunks of time built into a day in case things take longer than expected. but i agree with you about having some plans and filling in the blanks.

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