The older I get the less I want to book myself solid with appointments and activities. An uncluttered calendar, where I’m able to pick and choose what I want to do each day, rather than rush from one appointment to another, has become my ideal.
Two weeks ago, I experienced a vivid example of how great this can be. I’m a huge fan of the musical Hamilton and had seen it four times (twice in Chicago and once in St. Louis). When I learned that the production would be closing in Chicago in January 2020, I started entering the Hamilton ticket lottery in which winners can buy a $10 ticket for the next day’s production for only $10. When you enter on the app, you select whether you want one or two tickets. I’d been going for two tickets but on this occasion I asked for one, thinking it might increase my chance to win.
About 7 pm on Saturday, August 31, I saw a notification that I had won a $10 ticket for the matinee on Sunday, September 1. I had literally nothing on my schedule for Labor Day weekend and so I was able to spring into action. I bought the ticket, booked a hotel room (at the fabulous Kimpton Gray Hotel a couple of blocks of the theater) and booked a $30 parking spot at a garage across from the hotel, using my new best friend Spot Hero. I did consider taking the train, but the margin for error wasn’t high enough if I didn’t take the 4 am train. I knew the stress of worrying about train delays would detract from my fun.
At 7 am on Sunday I headed to Chicago by myself, singing along to the Hamilton soundtrack and listening to interviews of the Chicago cast on the Hamilcast podcast. I got there in plenty of time for the 2 pm show. Once there, I was thrilled to realize that my ticket was for the second row. That’s a little too close to fully appreciate the dancing, but that was okay since I’d seen it three times before. It was so close I could see tears forming in the actors’ eyes and I actually had eye contact with dancers a couple of times. It was an astounding, completely absorbing experience from that vantage point. (The picture above was taken from my seat.)
After the show, I had a complimentary glass of wine at the hotel’s happy hour, followed by a delicious meal at the Cochon Volant Brasserie located in the same block as the hotel. And then I went to bed early because I was physically and emotionally spent. And oh so happy.
It was a tremendous experience and I am so glad that my uncluttered schedule meant that I was able to enter the lottery for the ticket and that taking the trip was a no brainer after being notified that I’d won. For me, an uncluttered schedule means I can do a lot of relaxing or enjoying hobbies. And it also means I can take advantage of spontaneous opportunities. Both of those are great for me!