Do you take Facebook quizzes? I can’t resist them, even the dumb ones. (“Which Finger Are You?” comes to mind.)
Last night, when I should have been writing this blog, I saw a quiz posted on a friend’s timeline: “What One Word Describes You?” Well, I had to take it, right? It featured two of my favorite subjects—words, and me.
My word turned out to be IMPULSIVE.
Now, I’m not going to delve into the philosophical/semantic/moral issues of whether “impulsive” is just a euphemism for “undisciplined.” I’m going to stick to the meaning the test was using. It describes the “impulsive” person as one who likes “to live in the moment” and tends “to be a pretty big thrill seeker.”
At first I thought, heck, yeah! That sounds like a fun word to be! I’m impulsive, and therefore delightful, charismatic, flexible, spontaneous…
But…woah…hang on, there. I would love to meet that cool person, but I am never in this lifetime going to be that cool person.
And yet, something in the word still rings true. So, impulsively, I decided to mull it over a bit, instead of writing this blog. And here’s what I figured out.
I simply can’t thrive on a life that has no excitement, no surprises, no spontaneity, no risk. I feel as if I’m smothering on my own boredom if I go too long between adventures. I adore an adrenalin rush and secretly think bungee jumping looks awesome. I long to encounter a ghost somewhere. Anywhere. Overplanning a trip makes me want to chew off my own toes. Even packing gets on my nerves.
On the other hand, if you make me do weird, dangerous, stupid, reckless or terrifying things every day, I’m outta here. I was taught by nuns, raised by a Puritan, and I have a highly evolved survival instinct. I’m a keeper, a clinger—if I ever loved you, I love you still. If I ever hated you, probably ditto. To me, Change seems like another word for Loss. If you took away my lovely, dependable routine, I’d be a basket case in a week.
So… Does that mean I’m…well, nuts? No, but it definitely means I’m tricky. Luckily, I can be managed. Here’s the perfect solution, which I came up with when I should have been writing this blog.
1) Schedule impulsive activities maybe six to seven times per year.
2) Ideally, introduce activities approximately every other month, although some variation in intervals is desirable, to avoid rendering the impulsive predictable.
3) Activities must fall in middle of risk-range.
Note: Acceptable range includes anything from 3.3 (mainstream adventures with little to no physical risk, such as roller coasters, palm readings, impromptu road trips, or binge-watching Revenge all weekend)
to 7.7 (fringe activities with a moderate risk of physical harm and/or incarceration, such as bungee jumping, casino gambling, stalking Daniel Day Lewis, or strip poker).
Obviously, any activities ranked too low on the scale (2.1: rolling stop at red light) or too high (9.3: caves) are not eligible.
So that’s me. What about you? Are you impulsive? If you’ve taken that test, what’s your word? I’m giving away an e-copy of any one of my available books to one randomly chosen poster!