Since I am surprising you by writing again and the topic of surprises is still on my mind; here is a second part to my last post: surprise, surprise 🙂
If I look back on my life I see many things that took me by surprise. It was surprising to be diagnoses with a chronic incurable illness. It was surprising to meet a wonderful man who I actually wanted to marry, especially when I hadn’t dated anyone else. It was surprising when my dyed in the wool civilian husband who was going to school for economics decided to join the Air Force Reserves and become an electrical engineer. It was surprising when I was given a second horse; exactly the wrong horse at the wrong time, which I took anyway. It was a surprising when I discovered that though I still don’t want kids I love being an aunt; even an aunt to two little boys. It was surprising that after swearing I would ride jumpers for the rest of my life I ride dressage now, and love it (though don’t worry, I still want to do jumpers). Those have been some pretty big surprises. But sometimes even the little daily surprises change things more than we realize.
I could probably write a book about the incredible difference in my life from what I expected and how the surprises along the way has changed it. I know it is a bit cliché but looking at the events of the past year I see how little things made big differences. Some of the surprises recently were heartbreaking, like a death in the family, or a close friend’s parent learning he is dying, or the area we had just moved to catching on fire. Others have been great surprises; I got promoted, we had a place to live while we sold our house, we sold our house.
And even pleasant surprises sometime become unpleasant. I won’t go in to all the details on that one, but know that I will not be planning on a career in real estate; but you never know….that could take me by surprise too!
It changes the tone of a day though, when you look at the little irritations and pleasantries as if they are a bunch of your friends hiding behind your couch and jumping out from the darkness at you throwing balloons and confetti while yelling, “Surprise!” in unison at the top of their lungs. (Yes, quite the mental image I know.)
So for me it was, “Surprise!!! Your feet decided they want a different job and that they will rebel completely if you walk on them.” Or, “Surprise!! The people coming to move the giant pipe organ from the house we are living in are so inefficient we will be lucky if it takes them only 3 days. And in the meantime I don’t dare try to get to my desk (see previous surprise….grouchy feet don’t take well to stepping over anything.) because of all the random stuff and boxes all over three rooms. Some were far more pleasant though, “Surprise! My husband had the day off and only had to go to one of his evening classes.” Or, “Surprise! The wonderful person that cares for old geezer horse (or horse #1 if you prefer) texted me a sweet hello from him and mixed his food for me so it is one less thing I have to worry about.
Very little goes as planned in life and I think we can all agree on that. Whenever I make plans my literature background reminds me of an excerpt from Robert Burns’ poem, “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough:”
“But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!” (36-47)
So, what surprises did you get today?