Thursday, December 16, 2010

"I love it when a plan comes together!"

I had a job interview late last year and the guy running the panel asked me whether, in the broader context of my life, I was a planner. I replied that I was not so much a planner; rather I had a rough idea of enjoyable things I wanted to pursue in life; and goals I thought I wanted to accomplish but I suggested that to date, much of my life had been lived as a series of happy accidents.

I didn't get the job.

Now I'm not sure whether I wasn't hired because the guy didn't like my answer to that question, or if all my other answers were complete nonsense but it hardly matters. And anyway, I stand by my answer; I'm not a planner in the strict, driven and one-eyed sense of someone who has always known what she wants to do. But I know what I'm good at and I know what I love to do and insofar as I can, I'm going to steer my life in the directions that work for me.

So it is that I confirmed yesterday that I have holidays between Christmas and New Year. For some weeks I had suspected this to be the case, but because I wasn't planning on doing anything during that period, it had never really occurred to me to follow things up with anyone. Faced with a week of literally no plans, I weighed up my options. Do I explore Europe? Do I hang around London and visit tourist attraction after tourist attraction? Do I sit at home and watch DVDs while snuggled in a quilt with obscene amounts of red wine and chocolate at the ready?

All of those plans sounded pretty good to me - and still do, to be honest.

A bit of Googling and browsing cheap/last minute holiday websites revealed that even a four-day break in a cultural paradise like Venice was going to cost me about 900 pounds. I do love that city but I just couldn't justify spending all that money for four days on my own. It was then that I had my EUREKA moment - brought to me by the letters U, S and A.

After a bit more Googling and website browsing, I found a couple of cheapish deals to Chicago and New York (in and out of Heathrow) all from 27 December to 3 January. It all came together in a way that was almost too good to be true. I'll celebrate four days in Chi-town, my old sweet home, and stay with former room mate LH (who in a freaky and almost psychic twist of fate has holidays EXACTLY the time I'm there). Then it's off to NYC to celebrate NYE with KH - which is so much more than exciting I can't even describe it. Loose plans, but plans nonetheless.

I get the distinct impression that I will still be drinking red wine and eating chocolate, and still be snuggled up in a quilt watching DVDs - I'll just be doing it on a completely different continent.

In my case, not planning was the best plan of all.


Batreg said...

For a non plan it sounds like a great plan! It was like comign to get your bags in Glasgow being cheaper than a courier! Go figure. It works though x

Gab In The City said...

Whee I remember that - I loved that non-plan too! I had to leave in order to sober up though, crikey!

Kate said...

Quilts, wine and chocolate all at the ready. I knew I had saved those double choc tim-tams for a reason!