Expectations. Yikers. The mere mention of the word has the needle on my perfection-meter bouncing all over the place.
What is an expectation anyway? An expectation is the idea that we hold ourselves or others to an experience or achievement that we believe will, without a doubt, happen in the future. And assumptions are as attached to expectations as ice cream is to the hips. We make the assumption that because of ABC, well . . . DEF surely must follow . . . and so it will merrily go until XYZ gives us a cute curtsy at the final curtain call and we can all go home.
There is a certain, oftentimes hidden, agenda of chronological events — an order Continue reading →
Life is full of surprises. All sorts of surprises happen every single day. I went down to the laundry room this morning and was surprised to see cat kibble spread all over the floor. The cat was inventive throughout the night and discovered for the very first time in her 14 years of life that repeated clawing at a tough plastic-fiber cat food bag will spell e-u-r-e-k-a! Needless to say, when she began her morning yowling for “More food! More food!” it was her turn to be surprised that she wasn’t being fed on demand — her rotundness being particularly pronounced after her Midnight Kibble Party.
Then it occurred to me that the cat must have been incredibly surprised to discover that my sense of feline-nutritional guilt had kicked into gear when ordering her cat food this last time: I had just switched to a different brand to be delivered — a much healthier option over the cheap, grocery-store brand that I traditionally buy. And then it was my turn to be surprised to discover that she actually liked the more healthful version over the super-cheap version.
All of these surprises. Anais Nin wrote: “Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
And as Tony Robbins says, “Good surprises we like . . . but bad surprises we call problems. Good point. Surprises, like friends, represent “a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” I believe that how I embrace or deny surprises in my life defines my life in some small measure. Am I open to an unexpected moment? Or am I hunkered down, waiting for the storm to pass until the sky is predominately blue?
If I were to view surprises as friends that add depth and meaning and flavor to my days, then I would welcome them with open arms. All surprises . . . the good and the bad.
There was one final surprise regarding the Magic Cat-Food-Bag-Turned-Feeder. I had been surprised and a bit alarmed to see how much food had been consumed by my dear old cat while I was unaware that there had been a breach in security . . . only to discover that my 8-pound dog had been partying with the 17-pound cat — inhaling kibble with the best of felines.
The moral to the story? Do not leave temptation in the presence of an ever-hungry cat and a fairly-smart dog. The other moral? Be open to surprises. What I perceive to be a less-than-stellar surprise (aka “problem”) could morph into an amazing journey that leads to “a new world [being] born.” One never knows when one might be daydreaming or waiting in traffic or lending a hand to someone or doodling in a journal or taking that risk or enrolling in classes or standing in line . . . and encounter a world of incredibly wonderful surprises.
” . . . a new world is born.” Such a beautiful quote about true friendship. A new world. A world replete with the promise of good things to be discovered and experienced. A world of laughter and understanding and compassion and acceptance. And good plain fun that inspires uncontrollable laughter. And joy. And lingering feelings of happiness that span the length of absence.
A reflection of my better self. My fidus Achates. Best friend. The Other I. My Second Self. The other part of me that is attached by an invisible thread that stretches and springs and spans the vastness of time and space. Its tensile strength being immeasurable.
Life offers its many gifts but meeting The Other I is at the top of the list of serendipitous and cosmic sparks. Connection and relationship and creating new worlds . . . it doesn’t get much better than this. Life has a way of surprising us and, as Tony Robbins would say, we like the surprises that we want and call the surprises that we don’t want “problems.” Albert Einstein said, “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”
I love this quote. Do I believe that I live in a friendly universe? Yes. And yes. Meeting my Second Self confirms that new worlds can be born. That miracles present. That there are opportunities for change and growth. That counting and counting have two very different meanings in the ways of life and love and friendship. That very few things that truly matter can be quantified. That laugh lines hold more value than zeros in my bank account. That the sound of my laughter is a far better legacy than any fortune I can leave behind. That “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” — Albert Einstein