Since my retirement I am realizing that my life lost it’s spontaneity somewhere along the way. Now that I have more time on my hands I have begun to consider its demise. Where did my spontaneity go? Has all of the planning I did to make things go more smoothly for my husband, son, and patients hinder my ability to relax and just enjoy life? I carried a heavy burden of worry most of my life.
Being Prepared as a Child
Being a rather anxious child I worried about being prepared in case of a fire. I only wore slip on shoes so if there was a fire at night I could slip my feet into my shoes to quickly escape. Yes I was a worry wart.
Growing up as a Girl Scout I was taught the motto:”Be Prepared.” Somehow those words stuck in my brain for the rest of my life.
Being Prepared as an Adult
As an adult I planned ahead for everything! Having hypoglycemia and having to eat at least every 4-5 hours, I had to bring snacks with me if I were not going to be near a restaurant in the near future.
I carried Bandaids in my pocketbook just in case someone got a small bleeding wound that needed protection (or to keep blood from dripping on everything.)
Being Prepared as a Mother
Being a mother I had to be prepare for my baby’s needs. A baby needs a diaper bag loaded with diapers, wipes, change of clothes, and toys. Even as he got older a change of clothes was a good thing to have in case he spilled something on them. Later there was school to plan for and helping with homework.
Being Prepared as a Wife
I tried to plan for my husband’s and son’s supper since I went in to work at 6 PM and slept till 3 or 4 PM. Later, while helping with my husband’s health problems I poured his medicines for him every week. Then there was keeping up with the groceries and having clean clothes available for everyone.
Being Prepared as a Nurse
Then there was the planning a nurse needs to do while caring for sick people. I had to check and pour medications before each patient, gather supplies for treatments, do charting on each event of care, be available for unplanned doctor’s visits with long orders or new admissions, plus being sure my patients were comfortable, taught about their diseases, medicines, and discharge plans.
Outside of the hospital I carried Benadryl on trips just in case someone had an allergic reaction to something. I was a full time nurse.(Well, maybe I was a bit on the OCD side?).
Being Prepared for Fun
Before a trip or outing I used to be ready 30 minutes early! I wanted to be ready early to have time to calmly think about everything I might forget to do or bring. If I didn’t prepare I might end up running around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off. (I actually saw one on my grandfather’s farm. Not a pretty sight!)
After attending a few outdoor concerts with high winds and heavy rains I began to check the weather first. Getting ready for events, trips, outings, or any activity ahead of time always involved (and still does) checking the weather to decide how to avoid the ever changing adverse elements of the day or night. Especially now as an older woman I do like to be warm and dry. So my whole life had to have a lot of organizing to meet everyone’s (including my own) needs. Right?
So That’s What Happened to My Spontaneity!
My son is an adult now; my OCD husband passed away seven years ago. I have fewer reasons to be so ready for any adversity. My life is much more peaceful. I am able to cope with most of life’s little surprises with much less preparation and stress. I now have the luxury of resuscitating my spontaneity, if it isn’t too far gone.
Hello Old Friend!
As we get older we get rid of a lot of items, dust collectors and space occupiers around the house. Likewise as we age we need to examine our lives and get rid of the useless stress stimulii. There are still plenty of things to worry about but at a much lower level.
Being prepared is still a good thing to do but I have developed a more relaxed attitude toward the surprises that life brings me each day. I now try to use my creative brain to deal with things as they come, with only an occasional freak out. Sure there will always be things to plan for but the anxiety and worry are not there any more. Welcome back Spontaneity!