Expect the Unexpected

October 25, 2010
Abby Lentz

Before we left Austin for our Second Honeymoon trip to California we made plans. Not only where we were staying, but also where we were eating.

  • Breakfast at MaMa’s — a café that was on everyone’s top 5 list.
  • Fancy dinner at the Grand View Hyatt — boasting to be the last sky-view restaurant in San Francisco.
  • The Sunday Grand Brunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel — our reservation timed to be at the cross over from breakfast to lunch so we could sample everything they had to offer.

So imagine our surprise after driving across Yosemite to Mono Lake to be treated to a 5-star meal at the Tioga Gas Mart. Fish tacos with fresh mango salsa and Buffalo meatloaf with seasoned steamed julienne vegetables all served on real plates with real silverware to be eaten outside on a weathered, well used picnic table. Gas pumps out front, the inside surrounded by refrigerator cases filled with the usual soft drinks and beer. The register decorated with last minute auto items hanging in their bubble packs. There was no hint of the delicious food we were about to savor.

In life there’s only so much we can plan. Out of that, there’s only so much that goes the way we hoped it would. After all Robert Burn’s poem written To a Mouse in 1785 is now a proverb:

The best laid schemes of mice and men / Go oft awry.

So it seems for generations we have been planning for things to not work out.  So what would happen if we also planned for the unexpected to be good? Things we don’t see coming that add to our day in a positive way.

The trick to this, I think, is letting those pleasant things be small. Receiving a smile from a stranger. Noticing how good our body feels after a little stretch. Hearing the birds in our front yard serenade us while sipping our morning coffee. Once expecting the best becomes a habit it’ll be easy to have little good things pool into a pond of joy you can soak in.

Be open to receive all that comes your way, let yourself exhale all that negative junk you might be carrying as you prepare for the worst to happen. Instead open yourself to receive the inhale breath and all the joy that it can bring.

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