In the last week-end of May, I flew down to Canberra to visit a friend. I called her on the Thursday afternoon to check if the guest room was set up yet (they’d moved over a month prior, but I knew they’d been pretty busy). Having confirmed everything was ok, I booked my flights that night. About 14 hours after that, I was on the plane.
Last week, on a bit of a whim, I decided to go to the Rudimental concert. Ok, there was a fair bit of deliberation about this, but only for a few days, and right up until I bought the ticket, I was still equivocal about the whole thing. I left work on Monday, half-convinced that I shouldn’t go, but by bedtime, I was 100% committed to going.
The only other time I’ve flown somewhere on such short notice was a few years ago for work, to cover at one of our other pharmacies. I had maybe one day’s notice before the flight, and all I had to do was say “yes” and get to the airport on time. The rest was organised by HR.
I haven’t been to too many concerts, but the ones I’ve been to have been planned months in advance. It seems an accepted thing that, if you like a band/artist, once the tickets are released, you buy yours pronto. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing in half a year’s time, you don’t want to risk the tickets selling out.
I know people do buy these things last minute, but it’s not something I’m used to. Most people I know plan these things well in advance too.
Also, I cycled to work for the first time last Wednesday. Well, I’d cycled to work before, several years ago, but that was on a day that I didn’t actually have work – I was just seeing how long it would take and determining if this would be a viable commute alternative. I haven’t cycled much in the last few years, but after giving my bike away, and then receiving it back earlier this year, I wanted to get back to cycling.
After many week-ends of waiting for good conditions (weather conditions and my own health/energy levels), and no plans so that I could do a test ride to and from work, and after never actually doing a test ride, I decided to just get myself out of bed early, get on my bike and go.
I actually made it to work a bit earlier than I thought I would (Google Maps said it’d take about 30 minutes, so I figured I’d take closer to 45, but, as it turns out, I’m the Google Maps average), so this might become a regular thing. (By this I mean I might cycle once every 1-2 weeks. My cycling fitness is not very good right now.)
Reflecting on all this the other night, I wondered if this impulsiveness, spontaneity and risk-taking is a symptom of something.
Ok, I’m not really rigid in my planning – if someone says to me “let’s go out for dinner tonight”, I have no problem with last-minute plans or just winging it – but flights and concert tickets aren’t cheap. And cycling to work in the pre-dawn after years of not cycling more than a quick lap up and down the street to test my bike before giving it to my friend, not to mention not doing a test run in case something had changed about the route (nothing had really changed, just a slight detour for construction work) – surely you can’t discount the risk in that…?
But, who knows… Part of me thinks all this is actually exactly the sort of random, spontaneous thing I should be expected to do. It’s not really uncharacteristic at all.
Perhaps it’s because all of these things happened reasonably close together. Perhaps my mind was only trying to find some sort of connection or correlation in my recent impulsive behaviour. It’s almost like my brain saying, “Hold on, are we not going to ruminate extensively on everything before making decisions anymore?” Risk-taking tends to set off alarm bells in my mind (as it should).
But it’s not like I didn’t think about these things beforehand. If it’s a symptom of anything, it’s probably of my own aversion to inaction.
Before my friend moved to Canberra, I told her I’d visit. I saw Rudimental three years ago, and I’m sure I would’ve told myself that if they came back to Australia, I’d go see them again. Three of my colleagues cycle to work every day, and I’d been telling them for ages that I was going to cycle too.
So I just did it. I flew to Canberra, I saw Rudimental, and I cycled to work.
And it felt so good!