I yearned to go sailing yesterday. I knew I wouldn’t get the opportunity, but I longed for the silence and solitude of sailing 'the way a man holds the woman he has while thinking of the woman he loves'. I had been graciously given a day to clear my head, so I headed for Tauranga for the fresh sea breeze, for the beautiful beaches and ocean. I headed for the next best thing to sailing. Tauranga is home for me, a place of rest and many memories. My plan was to systematically and rationally work through all the decisions before me. There was no-one I planned to see, or talk to. That was my plan…
My first appointment came when I entered a little independent bookstore. I had been there many times before, many years ago. It’s one of those quaint bookstores that has wall to wall books, it’s hard to really know where to start looking without the help of the staff. I walked in and was greeted with a huge “Mr Nicol, great to see you!” The owner bounces out from behind the counter and I’m greeted with a huge handshake. It’s been 16 years I work out later, and he still remembers my name, and he remembers that I struggled with reading. I joyously tell him I devour books now. We chat a while and he leads me to the book I am looking for. He then tells me about a book that is going to become huge “For men only”. I buy both, shake my old friends hand, and leave.
I now resolved to read “for men only” that day. I know I have choices to make, and hope the book will clarify my course. I head for the top of the Mount, and read for an hour or so, then head down past the cafés. As I walk past I am actually watching the way the guys are interacting with the females. How many are actually listening, how many are just present in body. Then I notice Greig and Jo. My second appointment!
My third appointment was with a hairdresser for a very complex haircut (#1 clipper cut). She talked about how much she hated work, and she was thinking of moving back to Hamilton (why would you?) to work where she had worked in the past. She really said (even though she didn’t know it) that she longed to work at a place like Agoge. How lucky am I to work there!
My forth appointment was with my folks (I needed a cup of tea and a chat). My fifth appointment was with my wife, for a long chat about my day and head space.
It was an intriguing day to be sure. I read the book, walked on the beach, drank coffee, took photos, listened to music and thoughts heaps. What struck me the most was the appointments I hadn’t planned. They were appointments made for me. Sometimes I think we are just too busy or self absorbed to see these appointments, but they are there all the same. I do a lot of planning and make heaps of appointments from week to week.
I wonder how many appointments I miss because of them?