An experiment in unplanned living.
It all started when I finally decided not to go to my sister’s for Christmas: stopped from traveling by a broken arm early in 2016 and home alone for the first time in my life I grew accustomed to the pleasure of being home and doing less. My major trip for the year was Alaska, first for a few days, then a cruise down to Vancouver, Canada then across to Banff and Jasper and all the wonders of fairly untouched nature – all this with the oh-so-pleasant company of my brother and sister-in-law.
When I moved down from my mountain rental for the last time (another story) and started “planning” Christmas I realized that the thing that I wanted most was simply to stay put and enjoy my life here in Geneva.
I took that a step further when I realized that – perhaps also for the first time in as long as I can remember – I had NO appointments whatsoever on the calendar from the 24th – 31st of December. Ah the possibilities!
First decision: not to make any plans more than 24 hours in advance – one that I have managed to stick to for 5 days now and one that has brought normal daily activities, but also the extraordinary.
As a family we held Christmas Friday night the 23rd – my older son having rented a place in the mountains from the 24th – 31st. I also loaned him the car thus putting myself truly into slow mode – walk or take the bus. Saturday the 24th I decided that it was my day for attending all the possible Christmas programs that I could manage. This involved soup in the village (the city councilor’s provided soup, dried meat, cheese, bread and a lovely Christmas cake – I actually knew half the people who attended) at noon; a trip into town to have coffee with a friend made back in 2002 and who providentially was visiting from Budapest (had I made plans I wouldn’t have been able to meet up with her so although I won’t actually count my blessings, this was one); attended the Anglican churches service in St.Peter’s cathedral – a half-hour organ concert, a professional choir and a beautiful ceremony; returned home for a couple of hours and a snack then as a fitting end to the day walked up to my village and attended midnight mass there. Christmas Day began on a very high note, if little sleep.
Christmas Day I enjoyed lunch with my upper neighbors then the next three days managed to stick to my “unplanned” until the night of the 28th when life decided that if I wasn’t planning anything, it would sneak in something unwanted and totally unplanned: the flu!
So here we are well into the New Year and no more plans were made even an hour or two in advance as I went about the business of being sick – somehow this was NOT the type of unplanned that I appreciate!