Grow with the flow

A few weeks ago in her post Planned Spontaneity, Laurie Buchanan of Tuesdays with Laurie contemplated the different growing patterns of trees and pondered how that compared to how we lead our lives.

  • Are you a planner, with specific ideas of which you want to go?
  • Do you live haphazardly, bending every which way?

Like most people, she is a cross between two styles: 70% planned, 30% free spirit.

I am about 50/50, but when I was younger I led a much more planned existence. Spontaneity made me uneasy back then. In fact, friends used to make fun of my wary stick-to-routine life and pushed me to step outside my comfort zone.

And then I became a freelance writer. Talk about unpredictable.

I have developed more comfort with the “unexpected.”

Once I discovered that some of my most amazing life experiences occurred when I said, “Let’s go this way and see what happens,” spontaneity came more easily. When I allowed life to unfold naturally, it always seemed to lead me to an important and life-changing experience.

“Given the unpredictability of this crazy world, it’s good to be able to grow with the flow,” I wrote in Laurie’s comment section, and that feels true to me. Best not to cling to plans in this COVID time, am I right? It has forced even the most wary of us out of any routines we might have been sticking to.

I’m trying to grow with that flow. All of this feels important and life-changing.

Two trees twining together as they grow.
These trees are growing with the flow together.

11 thoughts on “Grow with the flow

  1. marianbeaman

    I’ve always been a planner; it’s part of my nature even though some of my best ideas come unbidden when I’m in a whimsical mood away from my desk.

    What has surprised me that at my advanced age I still have a competitive spirit, still wanting to be “in the game.”

    I think growing with the flow is a healthy way to live. Thanks for this reminder today, Arlene!

  2. johnjohnsmomma

    i totally get this..Going with the flow brings about a capacity to be flexible in life’s circumstances. I like to plan, but I try not to make my plans so rigid that they can adjust to the unpredictability of life.

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      Sounds like you have a good balance going, and that a happy thing. Unpredictable turns of event can be frustrating, but they are easier if we learn to look forward to what they will bring to us.

  3. Ally Bean

    I’m a very good planner and can follow one, BUT as I’ve gotten older I lean more toward spontaneity. I think it’s because I trust myself more now, so I just get in the flow and grow with it.

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      Interesting . . . I am definitely more spontaneous too. I wonder are there people who become less spontaneous over time? There must be. I think I like the idea of growing into spontaneity better. I feel like I had a solid foundation under my feet, so I am better able to handle any unexpected unpleasant surprises.


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