A dash of surprise

Last week I stopped into a cafe to grab a coffee. I must have had an air of desperation, or maybe the clerk saw the blur in my eyes. Instead of the Americano I ordered, he handed me a Red Eye. What is a Red eye you ask? It is espresso with coffee. I suddenly filled with delight. A new and unexpected experience, a humble new adventure at a roadside coffee shop. How fun!

As a parent with young kids, life is driven strongly by routine. Each week and even day follow similar patterns and the days can meld a little bit. This kind stranger who was giving me a new drink was actually spicing up my life! There are a lot of little thoughts I took from the experience.

Firstly, man am I easy to please!

Secondly, new experiences, however small, reconnect me to the excitement and surprise that life can offer. Sensing, experiencing, doing new things makes me feel GREAT! and more alive and I need to do more of it. The routine simplifies things, makes things predictable and in some ways manageable. It also provides some stability for the kids – things I value. But what they will remember is the exciting day trips, the weird foods we try, the late nights at music festivals, the great conversations with new people. Those are the kinds of experiences that I want to fill my life with, and the life of my kids too.  So thank you stranger at the coffee shop for shaking me out of my routine doldrums and reminding me about the potential for spontaneity in life.

Finally, I’ve never considered surprising strangers for fun but now I am very tempted. Anyone have any random acts of surprise ideas? Post it in the comments – I will do it and post about it. (Kind ideas only please).


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