Sometimes, I feel like a robot.
Hardwired to plan and to adhere to that plan no matter what.
Even when Aaron and I embark on a day/night of fun, we likely have already thought about what we’re going to do days in advance. Sometimes weeks. Needless to say, spontaneity is not part of either of our DNAs.
Note: I’m not a scientist, and I acknowledge that I don’t think spontaneous behavior is actually part of our DNA.
How do you train yourself to allow events to unfold the day of? That sounds terrifying! What? I have to leave my calendar open to possibilities?
But, here’s where those with the “Judging” preference on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) learn how to game the system.
That’s right: when it comes to dealing with the outside world, Aaron and I both have strong preferences for a structured and decided lifestyle (aka “Judging”). Do you think this has something to do with our desire for control?
It is important not to conflate the “Judging” preferences of the MBTI test with the act of “judgement.” It’s not about people; we’re talking process here and how we want to shape our lives.
Here’s a sample of statements that a person with a “Judging” preference connects with:
- I like to have things decided.
- I appear to be task oriented.
- I like to make lists of things to do. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
- I like to get my work done before playing.
- I plan work to avoid rushing just before a deadline.
- Sometimes I focus so much on the goal that I miss new information.
If you’ve read other posts in my blog, or just know me, you’re likely saying: “Yep, that’s Katie.” I do enjoy a good rushing around before a deadline every now and again to make me feel young. Ultimately, if I can knock things out weeks in advance, I’m as happy as a clam.
“So, like, clenched up tight, full of grit, and if you get pried open you’ll die?” — Tina Fay as Andrea of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
As two solutions-oriented, goal-setting people, Aaron and I drew on the inspiration of others and created a BOO:
Consider it a baby-step in our path to freeing ourselves from the confines of our decision-oriented default modes. The BOO contains scraps of paper with places, activities, and ideas to break us from routines and challenge us to explore our city, state, and selves.
Last Saturday, we took BOO for its first spin, and out came a place: the Atomic Fern in downtown Durham (a social club, aka bar with games). Alright, we were going to go. But what would we do beforehand?
Fortunately, we didn’t have to put ourselves in the position to plan that either. My friend Molly bravely took the stage with other amazing women for:
That’s right: the incredibly amazing Molly took the stage to perform comedy for the first time. And, she killed it.
Her invitation broadened the possibilities for our night of spontaneity. We knew we would go to the Pinhook. We knew that we would visit the Atomic Fern. But in what order? And would there be other stops? ENDLESS OPTIONS!
At one point before we headed downtown, Aaron started to inquire about where we would eat. I shut it down (nicely, of course). “Let’s see where the night takes us!” (Hopefully not to a place where we wake up among plastic pink flamingos. That never seems to be a good sign if movies/TV are telling the truth).
Photo evidence above: here we are, at The Atomic Fern, playing the addictive “I Spy” rip-off game “Spot It.” WE DID IT!
It was one of the most fun evenings we’ve ever had together. What’s the lesson learned? Spontaneity rules.
Now, when can we schedule our next date to be spontaneous? We’re booked next weekend…and the following…maybe mid-March?