This past weekend started on an off-footing. (I don’t want to say the wrong foot, but definitely…. Off.) We had talked about going up to the mountains to look at the changing Aspen leaves but the morning whiled away a bit and then it was too late. We ended up cleaning the house (probably a better choice…) and going to a local fall festival (hooray for our neighborhood!) All good activities, but it wasn’t what I had planned for.
When Frank and I first took the StrengthsFinder test, I was annoyed that he had all happy sounding strengths: Harmony, Relator, etc. Mine were all harsh sounding: Intellection, Context, Maximizer. So many hard consonants!! But, they are totally accurate – I’m not an easy-going, go with the flow type of person. I like plans and schedules.
One of the downsides to Intellection as a strength is that it is easy to become discontent with actual life. The way I envision something happening and the way it plays out in reality can be two very different things.
My friend, Alex wrote a book earlier this year called Loving My Actual Life. She takes her readers on a 9-month experiment in looking at and loving the mundane, every day, beautiful life that we are living right now. The title itself has stayed with me over the months since I first read the book – my actual life needs to be loved. Not just tolerated or liked but loved.
That’s not something that comes naturally – I’m not an effusive feeler, shouting from the rooftops what an amazing experience everything is. But, that deep-down, love for even a neighborhood fall festival, rather than the mountains? I need to remember that. We had fun, we hung out as a family, Bea got her face painted like a unicorn. How better to spend a Saturday morning?
It wasn’t what was planned, but I’m learning, slowly, to remember that these unplanned activities are the memories our girls are forming. And I want them to remember me enjoying them alongside, rather than overthinking what we should have been doing.
Are you a planner or do you thrive on spontaneity?
This post is Day 3 of the Write 31 Day Challenge. I’m spending the month of October writing about the StrengthsFinder test. You can find the entire series over at Live Your Strengths page