Autoschediastic: The Worst Vacation Ever

After a weekend of logistical nightmares, we declared the vacation a disaster, or as my engineer husband said, “so not optimized.”

“Worst vacation ever,” my husband said.


One thing premarital counseling warned us about was our lack of spontaneity. In our first year of marriage, we tried to prove that wrong by planning a “spontaneous” weekend getaway. We booked a bed-and-breakfast in the mountains outside Bozeman, MT, but we didn’t plan an exact itinerary. For us, that counted.

We went for a cross-country-ski-turned hike, then decided to hit the hot springs, but, not having planned for this, our swimsuits were back in the B&B. The horrors. After a weekend filled similar incidents, we declared the vacation a disaster, or as my engineer husband said, “so not optimized.”

Thus was our attempt to be autoschediastic.

Weird Words and Why They Matter: Autoschediastic

Something is autoschediastic if it is improvised or extemporized. The word comes from the Greek auto-“self,” and schédios, “casual,” or“off-hand.”[1]First used between 1830 and 1845, it peaked around 1895.[2] Its use has declined since then, but I think it has a place in the modern world, a more scholarly way to say you’re flying by the seat of your pants.

Why it Matters

We often invite my husband’s coworkers/interns hiking or camping because, as our premarital counseling pointed out, we’re introverts who could use more social interaction. We may be type A+, but they have a knack for autoschediasm. We compensate for that by scheduling a departure time a half-hour before we want to leave.

On one particular trip, we drove separately, with my husband and me in charge of finding a campsite and pitching the tent. They left late, forgot they needed food, stopped for groceries, and tried to meet us at the campsite. Being millennials, they didn’t count on losing cell reception.

Having been on similar misadventures with them, we knew to drive ourselves back into town, but we lost reception as I was giving them the campsite number. My husband and I drove along the road for an hour trying to catch them. When we returned to our campsite, there they sat, cooking steaks.

Despite the mishaps, they found us and had a fantastic campfire-cooked dinner. We scoff at their “not optimized” behavior, but they always manage to enjoy themselves.

If it works for them, perhaps my hubby and I could learn to loosen up a little.

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[1] “The Definition ofAutoschediastic.” Accessed December 7, 2018.

[2] “AUTOSCHEDIASTIC – Definition and Synonyms of Autoschediastic in the English Dictionary.” Accessed December 7, 2018.

Author: C.C. Hansen

C.C. Hansen is a writer and speech-language pathologist. When she is not working, she may be found with her nose in a book, her hands in a ball of bread dough, or her feet on a trail in the mountains.

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