Sitting in a local Sacramento coffee shop earlier this week, I overheard one woman asking another, “So do you want to know or would you rather be surprised?”
Noticing the other woman’s reaction was priceless. Her face lit up as she broke into a wide smile! I didn’t even have to listen for her response or even know what they were discussing to see the impact of the possibility of surprise on her face. It was instantaneous!
What is it about surprises? They have the ability to pause time by taking an ordinary moment and transforming it into something magical!
And we tend to love surprises when they happen in a positive way, usually because someone took the time to think of something we would appreciate and then put in the effort to make it happen!
Yet, often when we have the opportunity to choose whether to be surprised or to know now, we opt for certainty and information over possibility and intrigue.
I have noticed that most of us (myself included!) struggle daily with an incessant perceived need to know. Since we can be so planned, calculated, and structured, we leave little room for life to tap us on the shoulder and show us something unexpected. And when it does, we tend to feel interrupted or even upset that something didn’t go our way.
This incessant “need” to know and control can dominate life’s ability to surprise us in the best ways. And I should know! After carrying this tiny baby for just over five months now, I’ve spent more than half my pregnancy curious about what gender our first child will be, and am asked daily by others, “Are you going to find out?!”
Many people have told me that waiting until birth is the “only time in life you are truly surprised.” I’ve been thinking about this a lot and wonder how true this statement really is.
I believe life surprises you daily, if you let it.
From unexpected encounters to unplanned interruptions, these daily surprises are all around us. And how we experience them all depends on our perspective! We can choose to allow these surprises to brighten our life or we can look at them as annoying inconveniences.
- Do you prefer to have your day planned or go more with the flow?
- How flexible are you when you get interrupted or something goes off track?
- When have you been pleasantly surprised and what impact did this have on your life?
- What is an area that you can become more open to surprises?
Bosserman Baby Update
We went in for our 20-week ultrasound and anatomy scan this Tuesday, which is the appointment where you can finally learn your baby’s gender (if you choose). My husband, Joel, and I had discussed the benefits of knowing now, instead of waiting for the surprise at birth, and ultimately decided to find out the gender at this appointment for many reasons.
After an hour of scanning all the different parts of our tiny one-pound baby’s body (it is so amazing to see a beating heart and tiny hands!), it came time for the BIG REVEAL. Except that our baby was crossing it’s legs and we couldn’t get a clear reading after multiple attempts (and even some yoga poses on my part!).
But instead of being disappointed and frustrated, in a way, I felt relieved and content.
This had now become one area of life where I suddenly didn’t have a way to know in the moment. The choice to find out or wait no longer was a choice at this time. Sure, we can reschedule for another ultrasound in the next month if we like, but part of me simply wants to allow this opportunity to welcome surprise into our world during this big event.*
Sure, some of our friends and family may be disappointed or struggle with their own “need” to know (if you fall into this category, please re-read the reflection questions above and choose your perspective with care). I realize and wholeheartedly accept this as a side-effect of choosing surprise over certainty.
But at the end of the day, we are all in choice. We have the choice to either worry about what we can’t control, or accept what life presents – even its unexpected surprises.
How do you let life surprise you daily?
*Please note that this is where I’m at now at 20-weeks pregnant and we may still choose to find out the gender before birth. But no guarantees! Stay tuned…
Capture Your Insights
When I first learned we were pregnant nearly four months ago, I began journaling to our future child. This journaling practice created a physical space to process and share my experience as well as record my hopes, dreams, and desires for the life I was creating inside me.
Journaling in this way has been powerful and profound for me, and reminds me often to make time to capture my insights and reflect on what’s going on for me now.
If you’ve wanted to begin or nurture a regular writing practice, then I highly recommend that you check out PROMPT CLUB – a new 8-week journaling course from writer (and friend) Jennifer E. Snyder.
Developed to help you jumpstart your journaling practice and get in touch your inner writer, the course offers thought-provoking daily journal prompts, compelling interviews with fellow journaling fans, encouragement via a private student-only Facebook group and so much more.
PROMPT CLUB 2015 runs March 29th – May 23rd, and registration is open through March 20. Learn more about the course and sign up here!
And for an opportunity to win a FREE pass for PROMPT CLUB, visit promptclub.com and leave a comment about what journaling means to you or share a personal journaling story. I’m honored to be one of the interviewees for this course and hope you can join us!
Create a great day,