Stop Planning | Start Doing

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It’s funny – as I was looking back at the list of things I wrote out to do with Rachel, we barely did any of them. We didn’t follow the plan, but what we ended up doing was so much better.

The same Rachel from the beginning of my blog, during my trip to Spain. My adventuring gal made a visit to the mitten and it felt just the same, although a bit colder than Madrid.

On Friday we frolicked around Ann Arbor, visiting different bars and restaurants, sampling some of the great treats AA has to offer, and meeting some friendly souls that occupy my life. And also decided that we were going to go to Chicago in the morning.

Waking up Saturday morning, I wasn’t sure if we were actually going to make it, but after some homemade waffles and warm tea, we were on the road, headed west to the windy city, without any concrete plans other than a friend’s party that night.

We meandered from place to place, each one leading us somewhere new. Although we didn’t order it, we bought some deep dish pizza {which Rachel and Daniel got to enjoy outside the restaurant} and then found another great restaurant {that sadly would not serve our already purchased pizza} where we had fantastic beer/cider. We met old friends who took us to the 34th floor of someone’s brand new apartment where we stood on the balcony overlooking the city and then ended up at a bar far too classy for our outfits. Thankfully after our long day, the Cantus provided us a warm place to stay in the coziest neighborhood. On Sunday, we stumbled across a lovely breakfast cafe where they even had gluten free toast to accompany our mimosas. We had some champagne left over so what better place to drink it other than the café at the planetarium overlooking the Chicago skyline?

Walking back towards downtown, I commented on what a beautiful day it was. If only the leaves were on the trees and it was summer, it would be perfect.

“I think this is absolutely perfect. This moment. So what if it’s winter? We have at least four months of it every year, so we might as well enjoy it. And this is pretty damn great.” was what Rachel had to say back to me.

And this is one of the many reasons I appreciate Rachel so much. She always helps me to recognize and fully acknowledge the beautiful moments that life gives us {& also helps me survive the not so happy ones i.e. getting lost on the way to the bus station in Portugal, missing the bus, and having to lay on a bench in the zoo for many hours with a terrible hangover while we waited  – to name just one of the many mishaps we have shared together}. She is down for anything and always makes that anything more fun. She has taught me many things, including the importance of drinking a beer cold and with just the right amount of foam.

This weekend has helped me think about some of the worries I have had as of late in terms of “my plan” for next year. The ever present question that everyone is talking about. I still don’t know. But I want to keep my options open. I think even this example has shown me that it’s nice to have a plan {especially a back up plan}, but often the best things are the ones you don’t plan and you just have to be open to letting good things happen.

Thanks Rachel, for a magnificent weekend.


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