I consider myself a planner, someone who, still after two years of retirement, begins Monday morning by sketching out a weekly agenda, complete with daily tasks and weekly goals. I keep both a handwritten and computer-based calendar. I assemble folders for all the projects and volunteer commitments in my life. Simply put, I feel better and more secure assured that my life has a concrete system of organization.
But I have not always been like this; in fact, my parents would chuckle to read the previous paragraph. The second-born child, I was the random romantic to my extremely disciplined concrete-sequential, over-acheiveing elder brother. (Even today my best attempts at structure and organization pale in comparison to Dick's!). My bedroom was more than frequently in a state of disarray, my school assignments were typically completed "just-in-time," and my social life swirled in spur-of-the-moment bursts of energy. Serendipity seemed just right in my younger days.
This week, I hearkened back to my former self, the more freestylin' one. Sunday night, my youngest son called to ask me to make some props for the show his theater students are mounting. He needs six, roughly three feet by six feet, panels of fabric to be used in a variety of ways in choreographed movement pieces. When my son asks, I rarely say no. So even though I already had my week planned with commitments and projects, I said yes and started sewing…and sewing…and sewing. Housework, and plans and commitments were stuffed into that same box of time, and miraculously, they fit just fine.
Thursday night, I took a sewing class titled "15 Minutes of Play," based on the ideas found in the book of the same name. Our task was to make fabric, stitching together with neither plan nor design leftover scraps of material. It was liberating to approach a project without rules or pattern. I made two swatches of fabric. Still unsure of what I will do with these swatches, I am certain that someday I will do something--sometime, when the muse appears to move me.
I have a friend who says that perhaps the interruptions in our days are, in truth, God's plans for us. I spend a lot of time organizing my life, following comfortable routines and patterns, and for the most part, such practice helps me focus and be productive; however, it is good and important and perhaps even essential to allow oneself interruptions, improvisations, permission to color outside the lines, and the wisdom to listen to the beat of another drummer.