Halloween is almost here and many of us are trying on costumes to see if they fit. Do they fit our theme this year? Do they fit our personality? Do they fit our body? Can we pull it off and feel great?
I want to talk today about trying on something else. Trying on a part of who you used to be. Once upon a time you were a go with the flow gal. Maybe you still are, good for you! What if like me, parenthood has changed that. What if you have a calendar full of planned activities that dictate what each day will bring? What would happen if the day was a blank slate?
I remember being in my 20’s and early 30’s and taking off for a Saturday and just seeing where the day took me. As a mother..well…life has been more planned, fun times included. I have become Type A to the fullest extent possible. I plan everything, sometimes I feel I have to in order to stay sane. Or this is what I tell myself as I happily cross off an item from my to do list. Does anyone else get a thrill out of crossing off to-do’s?? But where is that spontaneous girl you once were, she’s in there somewhere isn’t she?
This past summer, during our extended trip to England I had an opportunity to catch a glimpse of that spontaneous girl once again. My husband I took off without the kids, leaving them to be spoiled for a couple of days by my in-laws (Nana & Papa) in the gorgeous village that my husband grew up in. We booked a hotel but made no plans for what we would do when we got to that city. We had no specific sightseeing in mind, no must try restaurants or timeline really at all. We decided to try back on that spontaneous outfit in the very back of the closet (behind the yoga pants) to see if it fit after all these years…would it?? Even with Spanx?
We arrived in the beautiful city of Bath, England planless. There was something thrilling about not having any freaking idea what is going to happen next! It feels a little like playing hooky from school or waiting until the last minute to pay a bill (What?? You didn’t take care of it as soon as you received it?? (If parenthood sorted us into shapes, 90% of the time I’d be a square). Let me tell you there’s still something to be said for spontaneity!!!
After checking into our gorgeous hotel with lovely views of the city below we set off down the hill with no plan at all. If you’ve never been to Bath-let me just tell you it is easier to climb down to the city center than to return to the top of the city. The whole city is perched on a hill and is absolutely glorious. The two of us arrived (leisurely) at the bottom of the hill only to discover the annual carnival would be happening that day and the entire city would be celebrating it. We were caught up in the most amazing adventure that we could not have planned for if we tried, which as I said we didn’t.
First, we discovered that there was a free celebration in a beautiful historic park behind an old mansion. Once we turned the corner behind the mansion we found live bands, games, food and so many happy people. The area was festively decorated and filled with laughter. We thought this was the carnival, we were wrong! As we left the fun that we had at the park, we literally walked past an entire steel drum team- obviously curious we asked what they were doing and a few of the drummers informed us that the parade would starts in 20 minutes and we should stick around and check it out. Parade? O.K., Yes, we would love to watch!
It was beyond any expectation to believe that this historic town in England would then change to basically Mardi Gras just as you would see in New Orleans. We were witness to so much in this parade-Beautiful floats, people in every imaginable costume, crowds cheering, and so much music!! Having no plan was working out spectacularly!
Once the parade was over we decided to begin our climb back to the top of the cliff where our hotel was located. We stopped at a couple of cute little pubs along the way for a drink or two….or more…It was leisurely and delightful.
After huffing and puffing our way to the top of the cliff post pub, (my calves are now renamed cows from this climb), we realized that we were happy just where we were. The view of the city that was spread out before us here was like a breathtaking oil painting in a museum. I was able to fully appreciate it once my breath actually returned to be taken and my cows (formally calves) stopped aching.
My husband booked a spontaneous dinner at the hotel, the best coco vin I’ve ever had, (which again was a surprise, a tasty one) and we spent the rest of the lovely evening enjoying adult conversation under the stars in the hotel’s beautiful garden. A perfect ending to a perfectly unorganized, unscheduled day!
This may have been one of my favorite dates with my husband. I love going out as a family and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. That being said…every couple needs a day like this in our relationship from time to time. After all, this life together did begin with just the two of you. Those early days when you would go out and have adventures together have to be honored. We also need new adventures! That outfit of the past does not have to collect dust all the time in the back of our closets.
I have learned that the adventurous girl is still in me. She may not appear all the time but she is still up for adventure (when a babysitter is available). The outfit still fits!! The day was fully spontaneous and exceeded any plan my usual planning self could’ve come up with. It’s a memory that I will treasure. The day we stumbled into a carnival, the day watch a parade, the day we climbed the hill and didn’t pass out, the day having no plan was the plan. Most importantly it was the day we were reintroduced to those up for anything, go with the flow people we were once upon a time and discovered they are still here. They aren’t here often but we liked hanging out with them again!
In every marriage we are hopefully blessed from time to time with these moments to connect-I’m so glad that this one happened. If you have a sitter tonight may I suggest trying this idea out? Have no plan, let that be your plan this time! Go have an adventure, laugh a lot, make some memories…try on your spontaneous outfit too…maybe yours still fits???
Big love to you Bath, England! Thanks for the memories!