Surprises can be good, bad, or just downright ugly. I have yet to decide if I like surprises or if they are just something I have come to expect, tolerate and strive endlessly to prepare for. The irony is that I almost always fail to be prepared when the surprise inevitably comes.
I am smart, wise, and have an extraordinary intuitive sense. Consequently, I have come to expect a great deal from the world. I expect to know what is going to happen next. I expect to be prepared for anything. I expect to react perfectly and appropriately when a “surprise” comes because I am smart enough to know it was coming. There really are no surprises anymore because I know what everyone planning ahead of time. I am wise to everyone’s motives and behaviors. Before anything happens, I have figured it all out. I know what gift is going to be bought, what plans are being made, how someone is going to react and what the next move is going to be. I am all over the hints, innuendos and behaviors of those around me. I just KNOW it all….. but I don’t really!
The need to figure everything out stems from fear. It’s the fear of losing control, the fear of not being able to react perfectly and respond exactly the way I would want to in any situation. It’s the fear of not feeling confident or not appearing “wise and wonderful”. The irony is that we are our best, true selves in those moments when we are NOT confident, controlled and scripted. It is at those times when we are most human, showing our faults and weaknesses when we are most respected and trusted. It is in those moments when we simply embrace being simply human.
I laugh at myself constantly. The more consumed I become with life and it’s to do lists, the more mistakes I make… .and silly ones too! I have made coffee without the coffee. I have put the cereal box in the refrigerator. I have walked the dog twice in the same hour and I can’t begin to guess at how many times I could not remember unplugging my hair styling appliances before leaving the house!
With age and added responsibility, I become more absent-minded. Sometimes on a Saturday, my brain turns off completely. I walk in a fog and do really silly things. In those brain-fogs, I can’t make a decision if my life depends on it. My brain needs a rest. In those crazy, brain-dead moments, surprises are most effective. In those moments, when my wall is down and I’m not paying attention, when I’m not firing all cylinders, those around me can do essentially anything and pull it off without me suspecting a thing ahead of time!
Years ago, brain fogs did not happen in the same way, with anywhere near the same frequency. Years ago, when I had a brain lapse, I would reprimand myself. Today, I laugh it off. I hope others can laugh lightheartedly and I encourage them to laugh with me. I am more eager for the laughter and smiles than approval. I am no longer striving to be accepted. I am striving to be happy. If forgetting to add cheese to the grilled cheese is what will make others laugh and have a funny story to share, then I have given a gift worth far more than any lesson I could learn for messing up my lunch!
One of the best things we learn as we get older is that it just simply doesn’t matter anymore. The everyday stuff that consumes us with worry and stress is just not what is most important. Striving to be perfect and in control is only adding stress to our lives and the lives of those around us. Today, let’s just celebrate who we are. Let’s embrace our idiosyncracies, set new goals and figure out a new way to live our lives. Let’s laugh at ourselves and at each other with no other purpose than to laugh. Let’s smile and appreciate ourselves and each other. We need to cherish and respect who we are, together and on our own.
Bring on the surprises! Our ability to smile and laugh is our greatest gift. No matter how hard we work to control our lives and what happens around us, no one and nothing can ever surpass the power of a smile.
Until next time, be happy and have some uncommon sense! 🙂