Do something spontaneous!

When was the last time you did something spontaneous? Something a little bit off the wall, unexpected and unusual. Something which reminded you of other times – times in your life when spontaneity was as natural as breathing. You never knew from one day to the next how your day would pan out, and that’s exactly how you liked it. Life was lived on a wing and a prayer, all care no responsibility.
As you’re reading this I’m in Vietnam. I have no clue exactly where as I had to bash this column out before I left, but I’m either somewhere in a tunnel, on the back of a motor bike or snorkling in the South China Sea.
Ten days ago I had no plans to visit Vietnam, I had no plans to leave my daughter for 12 days (she’s counting) and definitely no plans to take any leave from work. Nup, none at all.
But here I am, wherever that is.
This random act of spontaneity came about with a single phone call from my old mate Savo. He was escorting a media group to Vietnam and Cambodia and a journalist had dropped out. Could I go? Don’t be ridiculous, I said, of course I couldn’t. But then the cogs started turning and something inside started to stir. The old Wendy would have gone, and yes that was before children, school fees and a mortgage, but where was that spirit, that sense of adventure? That “bugger it, life’s not a dress rehearsal!”, attitude.
And so the mental checklist began. Care for the teen? Grandpa of course and friends as backup. The pets? Tricky, there are a lot of them. But my neighbour Andrea seems to like Archie The Blunder Dog and Grandpa knows how to handle Princess Ashlee, the cat, and Charlie the Perfect Parrot. As for the fish and the guineapigs, they’re low maintenance, aren’t they? My job? Hmmm…. probably not a good time to be away in these uncertain times, but my boss said go for it (maybe she knows something I don’t), so I did.
It felt very weird because I haven’t done anything this spontaneous since before I was married, when I was an entire individual answerable to no one. I felt very naughty, like I was sneaking off to do something illicit. Although the teen goes overseas to see her dad twice a year, I’ve never left her behind anywhere. I’ve never gone on a holiday without her, basing my vacations instead on her interests and needs. How strange it felt to indulge my own.
I’ll be away with grown ups. I won’t have to worry about packing someone else’s bag, looking out for someone else, going to bed early or visiting the nearest fun park. I won’t have to share a bed, share my food, nor share my money.
As parents we often forget who we used to be, and it’s a pretty sure bet our children have no clue, nor appreciation, of the lives we may have lived without them. In their simple terms we are mum or dad, put on earth purely to love and raise them. Life got in the way of our previous journey and we were forced to think beyond the day and into the future.
Well not this week! I’m on an adventure, sniffing the air and remembering the spirit within and I’m sure I’m having a damn good time … wherever I am.
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One Response to Do something spontaneous!

  1. I can’t see how it could be compulsory but a regular mini-sabbatical is a great idea for parents. A week or two somewhere relaxing sans enfants every year or two

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