1 July 2013

11 – Swimming On A Hot Day Always Trumps The Plan

Tuesday was a hot day in Halifax. The thermometer tapped out at 32 degrees (38 with the heat index). It was a great day to be outdoors or a great day to be indoors, depending on your take.

While waiting for the bus I decided to mow the lawn once I got home. This made perfect sense to me: the nice day was becoming a nice evening, rain was forecast for later in the week, the lawn was becoming scruffy with its own five o’clock shadow and the green bin would be full and ready for collection on Friday. I had a good plan.

The bus arrived and I got on and stuffed my ears with headphones thundering Led Zeppelin. Between pretending to pound the skins like John Bonham and wail like Robert Plant I again concluded that mowing the lawn was indeed the best thing to do. I had a great plan.

The final leg of the bus route skirts the edge of a long, narrow lake. I gazed out the window as it passed along my right.  Lush trees dressed in green leaned over the water's edge, looking down in envy. The water shone a bright blue and was capped by gentle ripples that glittered in the early evening sun.  It looked pure, cool and invigorating.

I forgot about how hot and stuffy the air on the bus was. I forgot about the sweat beading on my forehead and collecting along the brim of my favourite dirty old baseball cap. And I forgot about mowing the lawn.

I arrived home five minutes later. I went inside and put on the shirt and shorts and sneakers I normally wear when mowing the grass. But I grabbed a towel, my sunglasses and bottle of water and started back up the road instead.

It’s a short walk to the lake. About fifteen minutes. And as soon as I waded into the water and began paddling I knew I'd done the right thing.

Plans are nice. They help us stay organized and focused. But sometimes they become obstacles to more important things. 

Planning can even be a great way to not do anything!

Sometimes you’ve just got to toss the plan out the window and do what feels right. Like swimming on a hot summer day. I stayed at the lake for an hour. It was fabulous. Oh, and I still found plenty of time to mow the lawn before the Friday green bin collection.

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