Which Person Are You: Black & White or Rainbow-Colored?

Lots of life situations boil down to either/or.

Think about it: when someone asks you if you like Coke or Pepsi, you have an answer.

Same with Mac or PC (if you believe the TV commercials).

Ditto for political parties (although it seems as if ALL Americans are ready to do away with partisan, bi-partisan and all partisans).

Black or white aside, and disregarding all the rigid people we know who never cross a line drawn in the sand (my apologies if you are one of those types, but I kind of doubt it), there is still a lot of gray out there.

Let me ask you a question.

Do you consider yourself a spontaneous person or do you prefer to always have a plan of action to follow?

That’s definitely a gray-area question because there are so many what-if’s attached. So let’s take it a little further and set up a scenario:

It’s Sunday morning and you’re doing one of your most favorite things–hanging out with your java, your newspaper, your sweetie and your dogs. Life is good. You’re setting the kick-back tone for the Sunday. You know that your agenda consists of nothing more than watching some NFL football, taking the dogs for a walk and having a snooze. Sounds like heaven, right?

All at once, your sweetie says, “Hey, did you know that the (fill in the blank) is happening today at 2? At Lee Park?”

“Nope,” you say, never taking your eyes off the arts and entertainment section.

“Well,” she says, “What do you think about going?”

This, right here, is a defining moment, folks.

It’s a moment when allegiances waver. Your mental calendar marked this particular Sunday as the football-dog-walk-nap Sunday. You’re kind of attached to your mental calendar.

On the other hand, it sure seems like something your sweetie wants to do (in two hours). In that defining moment, you look at her and think, then say, “Yes, yes, I believe I do want to go to that thing in the park at 2.”

And you mean it.

Welcome to the world of spontaneity.

It’s my world now and I love it.  It’s not the world of 48 years of my past, but it is definitely my life now.

Here’s why:

I value the here-and-now pleasures of making impromptu decisions today much more than I value the cautious, think-it-through, look-at-the-situation-from-all-angles response mechanism I used to have in my life.

A few years ago when asked the same question, I would have let my “yeah-but” voice talk me out of wanting to go where I was invited.

You know the voice.

“Yeah, but I have a ton of stuff to do today (For whom, especially if it’s the week-end?).”

“Yeah, but I was gonna . . . (What? Read the paper, watch football, take a nap?).”

“Yeah, but what if . . . (I don’t have fun, see someone I know, spill something on my shirt, step in a hole–which I did).”

My yeah-but voice needs to occasionally be told to shut up.

If I wanted safety, predictability and regularity, I could have stayed in my old life–that black and white life.

In fairness, I thought that life was what I wanted because that is the way I was raised–you are supposed to eventually arrive somewhere when you are X years old and at Y stage in life.


Says who?

Can I do something different?

Can I say that I would rather live for experiences rather than security? None of us knows what the rest of today looks like–why do we assume that we do? It does not have to look like yesterday!

I walked away from a lot of stuff–much of which I miss–when I left my old life. I stepped away from a lot of conventional responsibilities and two years later people in my former life still think I’m crazy.

My response? Hell yes, I’m crazy–crazy in love with the rainbow colors of my life.

How about you? Spontaneous or predictable? Neither is right or wrong, so long as YOU are comfortable that you’re being true to your essence.

THAT is the line in the sand.

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  1. Sharry says:

    Such a timely post! This week I am attempting spontaneity on Friday and Saturday. Yet part of me says I don’t have the time. I am getting my house ready to sell and every wall needs to be painting a neutral boring “color”. Thank you for setting my world straight!

    • Beth Wilson says:


      Oh my gosh, I can feel that familiar sense of overwhelmed-ness when you describe getting your house ready to sell. I know this for sure: all the stuff gets done when it gets done and my fretting and stewing doesn’t get it done any faster; in fact, it usually delays the process.

      Remember to breathe . . .

      B Well & Present,

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Sharry, I completely understand. I love color and hate having to paint the walls a neutral color when we move. I actually think it depresses me to live in a house with no color.

      I tend to wonder if the real estate agents are correct on this one. When we bought our house that we’re living in now, the previous owners hadn’t painted the walls a neutral color. She had such marvelous taste in colors, I kept the colors in some rooms and decorated around them.

      Good luck with your move!

  2. Manal says:

    Great insight Beth. Personally I feel I’m a bit of both–predictable at times and spontaneous at others. The most important thing like you said as long as we’re true to ourselves the rest will flow.

    One interesting thing about yeah but, I’ve been trying to apply this in my life, and I still have some way to go. Whenever it comes up, I’ll say thanks for sharing; I’ll take it from here. And usually that diffuses the skeptic thought.

    Love the part I’d rather live for experiences rather than security. It’s a wonderful reminder of making the best of each experience.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Hi Beth, Great post! I am definitely a mix. When you have kids it can be difficult to be spontaneous, but it can be done!

    If you live with someone who isn’t spontaneous, it’s important to warn your sweetie about the plans so he doesn’t struggle with spontaneity when he doesn’t have to. It’s also important if you are the one who usually makes the plans to be receptive to your partner’s spontaneity!

    I agree with you, I love the rainbow! Thanks for this great article!

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