The other night my good friend AGS and I practiced the art of rewarding flexibility…and we didn’t even have to set foot in a yoga studio. After our respective hectic days, we met at Trattoria Merlo on Halsted for a pre-Steppenwolf meal. After one glance at me (frenzied, still responding to the crackberry, racing in after being in client meetings all day), my gal Allison (who had been waiting patiently for nearly 30 minutes) knew that we needed to bypass theater and proceed directly to indulgence in apps, pasta and vino. In a miraculous moment of simple thinking, she called the box office and explained that we just couldn’t make the show. Lo and behold, the box office kindly offered to reschedule for us.
Just like that. Ask and ye shall receive. Only five minutes beforehand, I was stressed about having enough time to eat and relax before a play and secretly wishing we could do this on a less stressful night. And by simply making a single phone call, it all was worked out. Why did that phone call and that decision seem so intimidating when the result was so rewarding?
Allison and I had a great evening. We devoured the special appetizer: a tuna pate on crostini and split an incredible bottle of Super Tuscan – just the right amount of sangiovese. By the time our perfect portions of pasta arrived, we were well into our gossip on dating, jobs and travel.
What I loved most about that night is that we were open minded. We had written “Dinner at 5:45/Steppenwolf at 7:30″ on that date on our calendars weeks beforehand. But when the night actually arrived, it was clear we needed to shift gears.
I have a tendency (as many of us probably do) to feel married to my schedule and committed to the silly stuff. It is a relief to realize that it’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to put yourself and your needs at that moment first. I think I have been programed (or did I program myself?) to honor commitment so much that I put that age-old calendar item first, instead of truly listening to myself.
Resetting my thinking on the matter of how flexible I can and should be has been a work in progress. But I can confidently say that I’m a reformed scheduleholic, and I now focus on keeping my own peace and health top-of-mind instead of my daily planner.
The other theme here, though, is that without friends who give you perspective and know you so well, maintaining that balance is impossible. So, a shout-out to my old friend Allison, who was flexible enough to indulge me in a gluttonous evening of deep conversation, dream weaving and outright R&R.