I like planning. Half of the fun of any trip or other event is the anticipation, and being involved in the planning means you can take full advantage of the anticipation. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of finding the perfect solution and then the exquisite torture of having to wait to enjoy it. So I will frequently say to people “we should do that!”
But the delights of solitude don’t only consist of dreaming. Next in enjoyment, I think, comes planning.
On a smaller scale this isn’t a problem. For example, at lunch on Sunday with good friends, we decided we should cook a dinner together – mainly so C can use some tiny teacups I helped her select at the Weekend Market in Bangkok, and because the summer so far has been set on destroying our plans of barbecues on our decks.
After years (decades?) of suggesting we explore somewhere exotic together, my sister-in-law /friend and I finally managed to get a few days in France and Belgium together back in 2006. And when I’ve passed through the UK, I’ve managed to catch up with some friends I met on the internet. And I’ve had a couple of adventures with my friend in Geneva. But that’s about all I’ve managed.
On a larger scale though, it is harder to accomplish. I have two friends who want to go to New York with me if I ever get there, and if my husband doesn’t get too upset that he can’t come too. The thing is, I can’t imagine us ever doing it – managing to match our commitments, budgets, timing etc. But it’s fun dreaming.
My sister and her husband, and my husband and I have a shared love of good wine, and we’ve often drooled over the prospect of a week in the Barossa and Clare Valleys of South Australia together. But Charlie is only 3. Too young to put up with drunk parents, too young to be our designated driver. We’re either going to have to do that alone, or wait a few more years.
I also have another friend – one I haven’t seen since Bangkok airport in March 1981 – who I’ve discovered (thanks to Facebook) loves tennis too, and so we want to go to the Australian Open together. I’ve even investigated how to get tickets. I love watching tennis, and my husband doesn’t, so that might be easier to organise. Melbourne’s easy to get to from here. But Becky would have to fly from California. And we’d have to cope with Melbourne’s 40* degree heat – though tonight, when Rafa and Federer are due to play in the semi-final, temperatures are much cooler (around 23 degrees according to the Aus Open website). But I just know we’d have fun!
And again as a result of Facebook, I’m in contact with so many of those friends I farewelled at the Bangkok airport in March 1981. A number of them now get together annually for the Thai New Year celebrations at a wat (temple) in Washington DC. DC is one of my favourite cities. I would love to meet up with them there. I plan to. Someday. Becky is going this year. I’m a bit jealous.
My blogging friends and I have talked about meeting up somewhere exotic. Latest plans are to kidnap George Clooney and/or Colin Firth in Italy. Sounds bellissimo to me! Italy actually would be a perfect location for a first time meeting – if we hated each other, we’d at least have Italy. (We won’t hate each other, I know). But in order to actually manage a meeting, I suspect it’s more likely to be in Parts West in Vermont, or Canada on the Danforth, or at Duckfat in Portland, Maine. That’s OK – New England has always been on our list of places to visit one autumn, so I’m confident I can get there sometime. The problem will be whether our St Louis friends will be able to get there at the same time. Still, I’m reluctant to abandon Italy. Or France. I just know they’d love the villages of the Ardeche or Dordogne.
Of course, there’s always room here in NZ for them all. But it’s so far …
Making plans is fun. I know, I watched my mother plan to build her new house for much of my childhood, and saw how excited she was. But after a while, if the plans aren’t fulfilled, they are of necessity benched in a dusty, unused part of the brain, and I don’t want that. So seriously, Mali! You’re not getting any younger. If you’re ever going to achieve any of these then you have to actually make the effort and organise something.
So I’ll start. Italy 2014 anyone? 2015?
Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.
Peter F. Drucker
* Temperatures in Celsius of course. 40 C = about 104F
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