The Importance of Circular Thinking

We went to a wine festival a few miles from our house yesterday, which hardly qualifies as travel and thus is not the point of this post.  However, I mention it because said wine festival taught me a very important lesson–the importance of thinking things through.  I say I think and I plan, and I do think and plan, but often that thinking and planning is very linear–I think outward, always reaching for more, more, more.  This is particularly true when it comes to travel planning (if you doubt me, please refer to the insane trip we took this past summer that was supposed to be a road trip to Montreal and turned out to be a three-country European tour!).  I’m realizing that it is important–and often helpful–to think in circles, as counter intuitive as that may seem.

Thinking in circles requires visiting the same idea several times, which helps you see that idea from several angles, and get more comfortable with it.  But thinking in circles means you have to slow down–after all, you cannot run as quickly in a circle as you can in a straight line.

So yesterday, at the afore mentioned wine festival, we drank a lot of wine (obviously).  And we then wanted to buy a lot of wine (also obviously).  But instead of setting off to collect bottle after bottle immediately following our fifteen-vineyard buffet, we stopped and had lunch.  And discussed.  And weighed the pros and cons of the different wines we wanted to purchase.  By the time we’d finished lunch, we realized we’d gotten what we came for–a taste of a whole bunch of great wine, plus some cheese and chocolate–and so we went home, wineless, with our credit cards untouched.  That was a good decision.

I realized today that I’ve kind of slowed down with the NCTE/Disney Trip planning, and I think that indicated a shift to the same sort of circular thinking.  I’ve gone around and around about which park tickets to buy, for how many days and for how many parks, but I’ve made no decision.  I realized this is because I’m trying to resist the urge to plan outward–so I circled back around to what we wanted to do in the first place, and that helped to make my decision.

I bought our tickets today, and we won’t be overextending ourselves.  We will be going to one park–the magic kingdom–on our first day there, as that was the whole point of booking the flight for the night before (I really just want to ride the teacups and have our picture taken in front of the castle.  It is important to note that I have no idea when I became someone who cared about such things!)  We will also be going to Epcot after the convention on Friday night.  This was what we discussed at the onset, and this is what we shall be doing.  No frantic hopping from park to park for us.  After all, we’re going to the convention–we’re not ‘going to Disney World’.

Because I could not help myself, I added a second day for myself (it was only an extra $47), should I want to go to a park before the pre-convention sessions on the first day.  But I don’t have to go, and I won’t decide if or where I shall visit until that morning.  If the resort pool is pleasant, I’ll hang out there in the morning.  If it’s full of kids in diapers (which I imagine it will be), perhaps I’ll check out Animal Kingdom, as it is close to the resort that hosts the sessions I want to attend that day.  Or maybe I’ll go to Hollywood Studios.  Who knows where I’ll end up–but whatever I do, I’ll have knocked the idea around in my head–in a circle–for a while first.

Down with outward planning!  Hurray for circular thinking!

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One response to “The Importance of Circular Thinking

  1. Tracy, Glad to see that you are relaxing more in your planning. Planning is great to give you ideas. But you don’t want it to make things too rigid. You really are taking the lessons you learned this summer to heart!!! Hope you are having a great school year. I am jealous of your Disney/Convention trip. Wish I could join you.

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