Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 206: Playing it by ear

If you're in my daily life, you may have noticed my absence from yours.

Don't take it personally. It's not you. It's me.

Lately, I've found it difficult to keep up a conversation. Perhaps it's because I have new Italian words in my head and some English words had to be removed to make room.

As a result, I've been doing what my friend Sharon calls, "playing it by ear." Here's how it works:
"Want to go to the movies?"

"Um, I'm going to play it by ear."

"How about dinner?"

"Sounds great, but let's play it by ear."

"Okay, what about a walk?"

"Yeah, I'm gonna have to play it by ear."
When she can't find it in herself to say no, she "plays it by ear." We're all onto her. We know what she means. It seems to work for her, so for the last few days, I've been practicing "playing it by ear." Already, there are side effects:
  • Texts that read, "You just don't seem to want to hang out with me."
  • Emails that read, "I haven't seen you in so long. When are we hanging out?"
  • Voice mails that say, "Are you depressed or something? Let me come over and cheer you up."
People in all their loving, do not seem to take "play it by ear" for an answer. I could just say no. But playing it by ear sounds softer. It also isn't as effective. It instigates whining and nagging, which makes me want to hang out with them less.

Rest and time are the cures for what ails me, but they think it's dinner and movies and walks and talks and coffees and visits and hang outs and parties and things that they want to do but I don't want to do.

When I've played it by ear, I've discovered that I can:
  • Do what I want to do whenever I want to do it
  • Be open to spontaneous activities because my schedule is open
  • Have a greater faith in living in the moment
This last one, the greater faith, was something I didn't expect. When I open up my schedule, the universe rushes in with all kinds of fun things for me to do.

The other day, for instance, I got the notion to go for a walk with a friend. I didn't plan ahead. I just texted. It worked out. There is something wonderful about flitting about all spontaneous like.


Yours truly flitting about.

So instead of overbooking myself, I'm going to play it by ear for awhile. It seems to be working out for me.



1 comment:

  1. You're totally on to something. I need to be more spontaneous too - I think that's what makes vacation feel so wonderful - you don't know what's next.

    I've tried to explain to my parents that nagging and whining about how I don't visit enough just makes me want to visit even more infrequently. They don't get it...

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