General Question

wundayatta's avatar

What kinds of things do you do with only a modicum of contemplation?

Asked by wundayatta (58581points) March 24th, 2009

There’s stuff we plan well in advance, and there’s stuff we barely think about before launching into it. I suspect that different people have different styles in terms of thinking about what they will do before they do it.

I tend not to think about most stuff much. In general, I prefer to improvise my way through life. Preparation is too painful. My wife organizes and plans every single little thing. Her lists are a marvel to behold. I keep everything in my head, and if I lose it, it can’t have been that important.

Shopping, meeting with clients, making music, dealing with complicated stuff—I just can’t think about it much before hand. My wife can’t not think about everything (movie lists, shopping lists, to do lists) before she does it.

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12 Answers

marinelife's avatar

For security, I need a base plan and contingencies. Once I have that framework, I am happy to take advantage of serendipity that happens along the way.

Jeruba's avatar

Buy helium balloons.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Oddly enough, most of my hobbies are done on the fly. Whether it is making candles or starting a new garden project, I usually get started with little more than a perfunctory look at the layout and gathering the supplies. I cook the same way too, but I do like to check I have all the right ingredients. so there is some planning involved in cooking.

When I write a story, a few scraps of paper with notes and then I jump right in, knowing my imagination will fill in the holes.

arnbev959's avatar

I’m extremely spontaneous when I have time to be. If it’s a Friday and I don’t have anything planned until Monday, I’m pretty much up for anything.
But if I have to meet someone for lunch at noon, and it’s seven in the morning now, sure, I’ll go fishing for an hour, but I’m going to be conscious of the time the whole while.

augustlan's avatar

I think I’m more like your wife in this regard. I find it difficult to do anything without thinking about it… kind of mentally preparing, I guess. It’s probably half the reason I don’t get much done!

cak's avatar

I plan, far more than I used to plan. I must plan, my short term memory has been seriously impaired by chemo. Certain things, I guess I form a loose framework for it, but I don’t go into great detail on the plan – this is usually when it’s just the family and we have less to keep up with.

I miss being spontaneous. I hope I regain that part of me.

exitnirvana's avatar

I have come to learn that planning is just another source of stress, at least for me. Typically, things never seem to pan out in the fashion anyone expects anyway, so why not just enjoy life from moment to moment? I believe the only things I seem to think the most about on a daily basis are food choices on a menu, and which underpants to wear…all the serious stuff just isn’t worth it—besides, my gut has better instinct than my brain ever will, anyhow.

mcbealer's avatar

I’m more of a planner/list-maker only when there’s risk of overlooking important details or experiences.

For an example: when I traveled to Seattle last year, I planned ahead many of the places I visited and restaurants I dined at. But even there, the spontaneous side of me relished in an opportunity that came up to have dinner with the family of a kind passenger I met on the ferry out to Bainbridge Island. It turned out to be one of the most fun evenings during my stay there, and was completely serendipitous.

Outside of meeting necessary deadlines/responsibilities, I tend to “freely plan” my spare time. During the work week I focus on all my chores and errands so that when my weekend rolls around I can pretty much just go with the flow.

nebule's avatar

wake up in the morning…

VzzBzz's avatar

Wake up: no matter how little sleep I get, at 5:30am my eyes open to figure out to get up or sleep more, no alarm needed.

Groceries: I can go into a store with no list and come out with all I need

Gasoline: The odometer is my friend, I use it

Eating: I rarely gorge but trust myself around food to taste all I want

Just_Justine's avatar

I feel inspired by your wife and I also think you are very lucky! She should open a site, I would certainly subscribe! As for me I have no lists, I realise my life is a day to day thing and hope for the best. Which is not good for the career. I tend to think lists take up time, but maybe I am wrong as I probably waste more time, wondering what I have forgotten.

Because I work all week, I refuse to make “time” dates with people on my days off. Because I just never know how I am going to feel that day. I think routine is good for one, it is an art I cannot master.

nebule's avatar

coffee or tea?

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