I was thinking tonight about serendipity. Just simply deciding to do something on the spur of the moment and having it turn out to be a really desirable and fun thing to have done. In my life, I’ve found that the less you plan and the more you do things on the spur of the moment, the more fun you have. At my age, fun is important. In fact, at any age, fun is important! Just going with your gut and getting out in the world and doing something you want to do is what fun is all about.

It’s interesting. I know people who, as they age, seem to plan more and do serendipity less. I don’t know why. Perhaps they feel more of a need to control their lives, control their destiny. But, I think you lose some of the joy of youth when you forget about serendipity and plan every activity down to the last detail. Some seem to have to screen every thought they have about possible activities they might like to pursue. I guess I am youth-obsessed. As I age, I want to keep that joy that we feel when we are young, even the joy we have as children. Of course, I have also been accused of having the Peter Pan Syndrome, but I think that is a good thing. Doing serendipity allows me to keep that joy in my life.

I’ve had some interesting experiences by doing serendipity. Once, a friend and I were presenting a paper at a conference in Mesa, Arizona at Arizona State University. We had a free day so we took a drive (a long drive!) over and around the Grand Canyon. We  went off the beaten path to the northern edge of the Grand Canyon. To give you some perspective, the tourist area is on the southern rim. The northern rim is pretty deserted.

As we drove toward the northern rim, we felt totally lost. We were hungry and needed gas in the car and there was nothing around. Suddenly, we ran upon a restaurant with gas pumps so we stopped there to eat. It was a restaurant that was run by the Native American tribe who lived in the area. The menu was interesting and we didn’t know what to order since we didn’t really recognize any of the food on the menu. We told the server just to bring us something good. I still don’t know what it was I ate.

We set out, after eating and getting gas, for the northern rim. We drove down this straight, long, lonesome road, assuming that the northern rim would be at the end of it. We were literally the only car on the road. Suddenly, I had to slam on the brakes as a huge heard of elk ran out of in front of us. They were crossing the road and it was a beautiful site. There had to be 50 or 60 of them. We drove on and soon, we saw a parking lot. We parked and walked a bit and there was the Grand Canyon, but it looked different than it does on the southern rim.

There are not even any guard rails around the northern rim. It is steeper and more raw. It’s absolutely beautiful but in a different way. We spent some time taking pictures and drinking in the beautiful sight.

It was a long way back to our hotel in Mesa so we started back. On the way back, we saw a herd of wild horses. Being a horse lover, I wanted to jump out of the car, but they aren’t exactly longing for a pat!

When we got back to our hotel, we talked about our day. Serendipity was good to us that day. We would never have had those experiences if we had meticulously planned something.

I hope I can keep my joy in experiencing new things on the spur of the moment for the rest of my life. #SoCS #amwriting #amblogging #writing #GrandCanyon

This post is part of SoCS.

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