Planned Fun

When left to my own devices, I will typically do the same thing every day. I love a good routine, and a lot of routine days have to rack up before I start to wonder why I’m not doing something different. That said, I do eventually begin to wish I could do something different. It’s just I don’t wish for it hard enough to actually do something about it on the spur of the moment.

To get myself to do anything different, it typically takes making a plan ahead of time.

That’s why I’ve been focusing more on planning fun out well in advance to make sure that I actually take the time to relax when the time comes. For example, we hardly ever went to musicals or performances our first ten years or so here in Maine, despite the fact that Denisa and I really enjoy going to those sort of things. We’d go to Broadway shows, but we wouldn’t go to shows right in our backyard. We began to branch out a couple of years ago, trying to schedule things in advance. (Not always easy to do in Maine in the winter, when you never know if a blizzard is going to shut down your plans for the evening.)

However, if you buy tickets for 4 shows at the University of Maine in Orono, they’ll let you cancel those tickets up to two days in advance, and book tickets for a different show. Doing this let us plan to go to shows, but know that if the snow materialized, we could always change those plans. 4 shows just ensured we actually went to things more regularly.

I’m glad we’ve been doing it. So far this season we saw Bobby McFerrin, The Color Purple, and Finding Neverland. We’ll go to see An American in Paris in a month or so. The day of each show, I’m typically a little peeved at myself for scheduling something. There’s a speed bump of hesitation I always seem to have whenever I’m going to do something that involves “not sitting on my couch watching Netflix or reading.” But after we’ve gone, I’m always very glad we took the time to go out.

The same is true for the slew of vacations I’ve been planning ever since I started credit card churning. A lot of them are small trips to Boston or Bangor or New York City. Day trips that go by quickly. Some are bigger, like New Orleans or Washington DC or Aruba. But all of them are fairly inexpensive because of the hobby, and they get me to actually go and do things. Yes, I hate flying, but I’m willing to tolerate it, because I love seeing different places and experiencing different things. It also really helps to know something fun is on the horizon, even if I begin to wonder why I scheduled that fun the closer it gets.

What about you? Are you a spur of the moment sort of a person, or are you like me, and you need an actual ticket bought in advance to persuade you to go out there and do something different? (Or would you rather just stay at home and relax?)


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