I Don’t Do Impromptu

rubinsteinIt’s interesting how differently two people can see exactly the same set of circumstances. I’ll give you an example.

A few days ago, Michael (our designated traveller) was setting out on a business trip. An hour or so before departing, he threw a suitcase on the floor and started packing. Stacks of the necessaries quickly formed and disappeared into the bag, and I started to laugh.

“Are you laughing at me?” he asked.

“No, I’m laughing at me,” I said. “You know perfectly well that suitcase would have been sitting open in the bedroom for at least two weeks if it were me going. I would have had to dust the clothes before I wore them!”

I envy people like my Michael who can just set out that way. Even without confidence in their route, they move onward based on confidence in their own ability to improvise. They create positive outcomes, in travel and in life. It’s one of Michael’s gifts and one of the greatest values he provides to other people.

I, on the other hand, am a spreadsheets and schedules kind of person. He joked with me just this morning that what I need is the ability to believe, when I’ve double-checked something, that the check mark will still be there when I go back to look again… which I of course will do.

Michael also relies upon – and understands that he relies upon – my need to check back, again and again. When he calls me the tether to his balloon, it is with respect and makes me smile. Sharing appreciation of one another, we can laugh about our differences in safety.

We complement one another (in the mathematical sense). That strikes me as a fine way to look at differences.

Arthur Rubinstein once said:

Love life and life will love you back.

Love people and they will love you back.

I’m not naive enough to believe this will work every time or with every person, but it strikes me as a reasonable place to start.