The truth is, surprises make me nervous. I’m one of those people who, if you came up and yelled “Surprise!” would give you the side eye and start inching towards the nearest exit. My default assumption is that surprises are going to result in unhappy endings. I’m not as bad as this guy, but I’m not too far off.
So what surprised me this year? Snow days (multiple. In Alabama.) M’s uncle dying. That I would start crying when I saw my kids’ baby gear for sale at the consignment store. How good peanut butter stout tastes. Sitting in the grass in the front yard on a perfect sunny spring afternoon playing with the kids. A friend finally getting pregnant. Kids (multiple) starting to throw up on our vacation. Lowering my 5k PR by 3 minutes. Our friend’s dad dying. Lavender merlot blueberry jam. My grandmother dying. Losing a preschool slot. That I actually NEEDED a check for something. Another friend getting pregnant. Two of my high school classmates dying. Realizing that Fin was cutting four molars when she bit my finger. Feeling like time stopped when I walked into the Rivera Court at the DIA.
It’s a mix of good and bad. Much like life in general, I suppose. Some of them left me breathless, while some of them knocked the breath out of me and left me gasping for air. Sunshine and shadow, dappled light moving in and around and over me.
As I search for a way to wrap up this rather meandering pile of words, it hits me – I don’t feel like I am surprised that often because I am trying to release my expectations for how life unfolds. In order to be surprised, you have to have some preconceived notion of what is going to happen. And as I let go of those expectations, of the illusion of controls, I’m able to better appreciate the moments as they occur instead of continually comparing them to what happened in my head. Echoing yesterday’s prompt – maybe surprises are signposts for attachment.
Do you like surprises or not? Why?