Need to Nomad Blog

More Majesty from Nature

Enjoy the magic of Hawaii, from the beauty of the Kauai's Ka'anapali Coast to Keauhou Bay on the Big Island. 




Don't you love the star effect on this sunset?

                       And one more magnificent photograph, sunset over Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii 


Aloha … may the beauty of Hawaii bring you peace of mind and fill your nomadic heart with wonder.

Planned Spontaneity

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 8.03.03 PM

I am a creature of habit, and I like things organized, no surprises. Every conceivable type of planner has passed through my hands. Day-Timer, Day Planner, Day Runner, Day Minder, Franklin Covey, FiloFax, Circa and now Opus Domini. I've managed differing time increments with varying degrees of success. Daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, annually. I plan short term, I plan long term, and my contingency plan has a back-up plan. It's what I do and who I am. 

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 8.00.01 PM

Twenty-five years of working in Corporate America means my planning skills are super sharp, and I can slice and dice any time increment with surgical precision. Not only do I manage a tight schedule, my penchant for anticipating disaster is unrivaled. I plan not only what will be, but also what might knock me off course.

So where does this leave me in the spontaneity department? Rather flat-footed. Spontaneity suggests "in the moment", "impulsive", "unplanned" or "not premeditated". Egad! There is nothing in the world of organizing that prepares planners for such an ambiguous concept. 

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 8.10.46 PM

My schedule oftentimes is so full even a potty break is impossible. You've been there too, I imagine. Things are even worse in the world of shared electronic schedules, where just about anyone can see your calendar AND put himself or herself on it without asking. Just when you think there is a free minute, some time-thief disguised as your boss, your spouse, your children, your neighbor, your co-worker, a random telephone solicitor slides in, happy to spend your time for you since you are obviously not that busy. 

Out of necessity comes invention, and I decided to invent the "planned spontaneity" technique. Here's how it goes. On occasion, I pick one unscheduled hour on my calendar and reserve it for me. I actually put my initials into the Appointment Description like this: "MJK - DO NOT TOUCH" or some other forbidding warning. If a schedule conflict arises, as will sometimes occur, I don't delete the appointment, I move it to another slot. At the allotted hour, I drop everything and, in the moment, decide what I want to do. In the past I've strolled the corridor and introduced myself to someone I didn't know. I called a friend I haven't spoken to in years. I visited with a staff member who needed some cheering up. I grabbed some crayons and drew a picture for a friend. I did something spontaneous. You get the idea.  


The result? I am able to retain my need to plan while building up some "spontaneity muscle". It is a small victory but a significant one. In that one small hour I feel unencumbered, free, eager to explore, curious, and energized! So go ahead, declare an hour just for you, and do something spontaneous. The excitement and energy you create goes a long way towards a balanced state of mind. Though the concept of planned spontaneity is an intuitive contradiction, in fact it's a great way to give yourself permission to explore. And what fun is life if every moment is planned? So do yourself a favor and introduce planned spontaneity into your schedule!


December of 1962 is touted as Maine’s “winter of the century”, with a reported FIVE FEET of snowfall from a single storm, and over 25 inches falling in a single day, bringing the state to a complete standstill. This also happens to be the year my parents moved to Brewer, Maine, just in time for the snow to fly. Native Mainers understand the unique challenges posed by heavy snow, but my darling mother was ill prepared for her first "wintah". 

My mom grew up in Okinawa, an island which measures less than 500 square miles, with average temperatures ranging from 55 to 95 degrees throughout the year. This bitter New England winter of 1962 served as a razor sharp contrast to her upbringing. At the time, I can imagine my mom wondering where the heck my dad had brought her, but with four small children and one more on the way I suppose there was no going back. Her first American experience, an unforgiving winter in Maine, remains an incident from which I suspect she never fully recovered.


But wait! Just this year someone got the bright idea to name winter storms, so winter storm Nemo has just kicked our collective butts, with snowfall accumulations in Maine as high as 35.5 inches. I'm not certain if this beats the single day record set in 1962. That is a meteorologic calculation best left to the professionals. The fact is that the impact of Nemo is here, now and COLD!  And I am just back from an extended vacation in Hawaii and Arizona, so hear my empty whining, waa waa waa. 


I expect no sympathy from my hardy New England friends who literally weathered the storm, while I hiked the peaks in Kauai, traversed the volcanic valleys on the Big Island, and peered into the depths of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. No sympathy, just understanding that my personal need to nomad will soon lead me back to winters in Scottsdale, where I can also choose to sizzle away in the summer extremes if I so desire. Let me make this perfectly clear: I would rather face a future of frying in Phoenix than being a popsicle in Portland!


So here's an open invitation to my Maine buddies, my professional colleagues, and my future snowbound friends … Scottsdale awaits, wtih an endless fountain of sunshine, 6% unemployment rates, and an economy on the rebound!  I'll let you know when we've made it to our home on lovely Horseshoe Trail in Happy Valley, and you can hang your spurs there when y'all visit me to defrost. And for those of my friends who have recently found themselves looking for work, Arizona is full of opportunities. Why don't you saddle up and join me?



My inner nomad smiles as I move about our physical world in wide eyed wonder. From the majestic heights of Mauna Kea, to the breathtaking depths of the Grand Canyon, to the snowy wonder of the Maine coast, I experience deep humility for the privilege to live in this beautiful world. 


But do I just take in the beauty as a mere consumer, nothing else? Is it fair to receive such gifts without giving something back in return? How will I repay such magnificence when I feel dwarfed in comparison? These are big questions I must figure out within myself, as we all must do.


For tonight I will be content to share glimpses of great beauty my camera has captured over the years. But tomorrow … with a renewed sense of urgency, I expect more from myself, to give back, to pay forward, to make a bigger difference.  For now, I hope you enjoy these moments of loveliness … 


Wolfe's Neck, Freeport, Maine Summer 2012


Blackberries from my back yard in Brunswick, Maine 1999


A "Maureen" Tulip from my front yard in Brunswick, Maine 1999

snow 08-1

Bowdoin Sun winterized by Maine snow, 2012


Portugeuse market, Albufiera, Portugal 1998

Picture 058

Taj Mahal, Agra, India, 2005


Double rainbow, Scottsdale, Arizona 2011


Coastal Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Harbor, Maine, Summer 2012

Image 5

Beaver Creek, Avon, Colorado, 2011

Image 6

Fort Williams, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, 2011


Heirloom tomatoes, Little Wood Island, Maine, Summer 2012


Lobstering off the coast of Maine, Summer 2012 … this little lady was returned to the water


Copyright 2018 Maureen Kenney TRUSTe Privacy Policy Privacy Policy