Pleasant Surprises

Over the weekend. I checked off another 3 activities from my “Losing Control” checklist. Here is what I had left to complete:

  • Let a stranger decide my coffee order (I can set price parameters)
  • Let a stranger decide my food order (I can set price and basic nutrition parameters)
  • Let a friend of a friend (someone I don’t know well) buy my groceries for a week (I can give them a cash budget and basic nutritional guidelines)
  • Join 1-2 Meetup groups and go to at least one Meetup alone, with no backup
  • Climb a rock wall (I have to try until exhausted to get to top of the wall, so I need to earnestly attempt it at least  a few times)
  • Go rollerskating
  • Spend a half-day doing something that someone else plans, where I have no control over any part of the activity (I can ask how to dress)
  • Do Mom’s “Surprise Activity” with no questions asked (the point of this is simply not knowing what the activity will be or when it will be happening; i.e. “embracing the unknown”)

Over the weekend, I spent a half-day following Elisa around and doing what she had planned, I went to a Meetup, and I had a friend of a friend buy my groceries. 

Naya_rivera_nod

True story

I had originally planned to go to 2 Meetups this weekend, but I ended up not going to the Happy Hour meetup because I opted to spend time with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while who is still recovering from surgery. I didn’t feel so bad about not going to the happy hour, because the same group is having another happy hour event this Friday that I’ll go to instead. Plus, friends come first.

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#priorities

SO HERE’S HOW MY WEEKEND WENT: 

Most of Saturday was spent doing whatever Elisa had planned. 

And let me just say, Elisa was a great person to plan this day. She’s thoughtful and attentive, so I was not at all nervous for what she had planned for me. Around noon, she came into my room where I had been napping and told me to put on a bathing suit. I asked her what to wear over my bathing suit, and she told me some shorts. She then instructed that all I would need was a towel, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

hoff

“Perhaps the beach?” I thought. 

But Elisa doesn’t like the beach! I asked if I would need tennis shoes or if sandals were okay. She muttered something about the hike not taking very long so sandals would be fine. We then got in the car for what she said would be a kind of long drive. What could it be??

photo 1 (4)

We were in the car for about 10 minutes when Elisa pulled up in front of an apartment complex that I had never been to. “Maybe one of her friends lives here?” I thought. As we were walking through the complex, we rounded a corner and Elisa said, “I hope its unlocked.” We rounded another corner and we were at a pool, which was, luckily, unlocked! Apparently Elisa used to live in that complex and the pool is almost always unlocked. Yes, we were technically trespassing, but who cares! It was 90 degrees and I love swimming!

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Hike and a long drive, my eye! That Elisa, she’s a trickster. We sloshed around in the pool for about an hour, then it was time to head home to shower so that we could go to our next activity, happening around 4pm. Dressing for this activity was a little tricky, because I wasn’t sure how casual/formal to be and if we would be outside in the heat. With Elisa’s guidance I ended up in shorts, a shirt, and some sandals. She mentioned we would need to leave a little early because of all the traffic. But alas, that too was just a ruse. We ended up at the mall 10 minutes away from our apartment. Apparently, we were going to the movies!

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To see The Giver!!

I had been wanting to see The Giver for weeks. And when we got into the theater, I was surprised to see another one of our friends, Margot! While walking to the concession stand after getting our seats, there was another friend, Allison! Elisa had arranged a group outing to the movies! And while the movie was a bit of a let down, the experience was a lot of fun.

After the movie, we went home to change for our last activity. The rules of dress were that I had to look somewhat nice but not too fancy and that Elisa and I had to swap closets to find an outfit. Our styles aren’t that different, but different enough. Unsurprisingly, we each ended up choosing things that were close to our own individual styles. But we also ended up looking a little matchy, which was hilarious. But I forgot to take a picture!

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We ended up spending the evening with some of Elisa’s very delightful and charming friends for a birthday party. It was a fun night with fancy snacks, good drinks, and sparkling conversation! I had already met about half of the people who were there, so it wasn’t too uncomfortable. And while I spent the evening with people that I don’t know very well, I still had a fantastic time. I may not have gone (or been invited) if it wasn’t Elisa’s job to plan my day. So thanks, Elisa!

All in all, it was a fantastic day. If you get the opportunity to have someone plan your day, go along with it. And don’t ask any questions – it ruins the surprise!

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On Sunday morning, I went to a Yoga Meetup.

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To be sure, I am not a yogi. I took one yoga class on campus two years ago. I’ve done yoga a handful of other times. Yoga is fine – it’s fun and I feel relaxed afterward. But sometimes the culture of yoga is off-putting to me. Don’t do a downward dog correctly, and you might just find yourself in the middle of receiving some unsolicited advice from a total stranger. To be fair, not all yoga classes or practitioners are like that. In fact, 99% percent of them aren’t. But either way, yoga has not been my go-to physical activity. So when it came to finding a Meetup, I knew that yoga would be a good challenge. I’m familiar enough with it to not be totally lost, but not familiar enough to feel comfortable with it. So I joined a local yoga Meetup group and signed up for one of their events: an outdoor yoga class in Balboa Park.

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I went to the class, set down my mat, and got ready. At first, there were only about 30 people there, but by the end of the course there were easily 50 people. The style of the class was very good – it was slow enough that everyone could keep up. The instructor also encouraged everyone to do whatever variation on the moves they wanted to get the most out of the class. By the end of the class I felt strong, peaceful, and energized. I think I’ll go back next week!

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On Sunday afternoon, I got my groceries from Elisa’s friend, Ellen.

One of the things I have to do this month is get a week’s worth of groceries from a relative stranger. Elisa helped me find a good person, her friend and coworker Ellen. I had met Ellen once before at a game night we hosted. Last week, she agreed to help with the challenge, I gave her a $100 budget and told her she could feel free to buy whatever she wanted as long as I could have 3 balanced meals a day (in other words, not $100 worth of Doritos!). We arranged for her to bring over the haul on Sunday afternoon. When she came over, I was amazed! It was way more than 1 week’s worth of food (not surprising given the budget, and apparently Ellen is a bargain shopper!).

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That’s Ellen with the groceries!

Ellen expressed that she too felt a challenge with buying my groceries. She mentioned it was a bit unnerving to buy food for someone when you have no idea what they like and what they’re used to. Do you buy bread? Regular, skim, or soy milk? Do they eat a lot of snacks? Do they cook? All of these questions crossed her mind at the store. As a result, what she thought would take about an hour took closer to two. But, as you can see, she did pretty well. I’ll be using up these groceries over the next couple of weeks, trying my best to cook and eat everything that Ellen has decided. I’ll be posting pictures with my culinary creations!!

What a busy weekend!! What’s next??

Now that I’ve done three more items on my checklist, let’s re-cap:

  • Let a stranger decide my coffee order (I can set price parameters)
  • Let a stranger decide my food order (I can set price and basic nutrition parameters)
  • Let a friend of a friend (someone I don’t know well) buy my groceries for a week (I can give them a cash budget and basic nutritional guidelines)
  • Join 1-2 Meetup groups and go to at least one Meetup alone, with no backup
  • Climb a rock wall (I have to try until exhausted to get to top of the wall, so I need to earnestly attempt it at least  a few times)
  • Go rollerskating
  • Spend a half-day doing something that someone else plans, where I have no control over any part of the activity (I can ask how to dress)
  • Do Mom’s “Surprise Activity” with no questions asked (the point of this is simply not knowing what the activity will be or when it will be happening; i.e. “embracing the unknown”)

I’ve only got one activity left, and I worry it will be the toughest! I’ll still be going to that Meetup on Friday, just for good measure. But I’ll also be going to a rock-climbing gym this weekend to round out August’s Losing Control challenge.

rockclimb

I’m excited to see how the last activity goes, and then I’m looking forward to sitting back and reflecting on all of this. I feel like I’ve been learning a lot about letting go – because 9 times out of 10 everything works out fine, if not better.

Thanks for following along so far, I’m almost finished with August’s challenge and I am loving it!

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