I love surprises – roses for no reason, picking out a shirt you really like and THEN finding out its on sale, surprise parties, fire works, unexpected chocolate. (Ok, fine, any kind of chocolate, but you get the point.) A good surprise can be wonderful.
There are other kinds of surprises – a flat tire, rain when the weatherman predicted sunshine, the two arriving together when you are already late, an unexpected lack of chocolate. But I don’t call those surprises, I call them accidents or disappointments, and like most people, I avoid them as best I can.
So when my 51st snuck up behind me and shouted, “surprise” I had a choice to make. I could be disappointed to have another year added to my tally, to be older, wrinklier and sometimes tireder, or I could be surprised, grateful for another year of joy filled with new babies (the grand kind) new career moves, new friends and experiences. Given the option, I will always take the latter, because it is a lot more fun to be surprised, than accidentally disappointed.
And then, of course, there’s this, written last year, but it still applies:
this birthday snuck up on me,
stepped right past twenty-five
doubled while I blinked.
First steps, first kiss, first car,
first marriage, kid, death,
first wrinkle all in one tick of the clock.
Everything changed and nothing feels different.
Round two, second child, second chance,
second college, second career,
second house, fourth move,
new friends, new plans, new dreams.
Everything is different but so little has changed
somewhere inside I’m still that
twenty something hot mess,
smoothed over, buffed out,
bolder, surer, occasionally smarter.
My questions are more focused but
I ask them with as much curiosity,
My aims have changed but
My desire still runs as hot
as the chrome on that ’66 Ford,
summer heat sparking dreams from the asphalt.
Now its a white board or a white screen but the
View widens and turns on a season,
dreams become visions given reason
and I am still driving, into the third act now,
curious to find out about the curtain call,
where nothing good ends and the best
So what about you? Do you like surprises?