Have you ever heard to "expect the unexpected"?
photo of my daughter.
This phrase has been running through my mind the past few days. What perfect examples of Murphy's Law they have been:
I had to face a parenting issue (with another parent) that my mind simply would not let go of. Silly in hindsight, but we all know how certain issues are just hard to release from our thoughts.
After a long day, I arrived home with a frozen pizza and turned on the oven to preheat. In the midst of this, the garbage disposal got clogged. Removing the U-trap (pipe), the clogged portion and backed up water sprayed everywhere. (I'd tried the bowl underneath, but the water wasn't interested in being IN the bowl.) Two hours later, I finally got everything cleaned up...but had to re-freeze the pizza in order to bake it.
Hubby called after midnight that night - turns out he had a flat tire on the way home from Indianapolis. He was able to change it (on a dark, deserted side-street), but we both only got about 3 hours of sleep that night.
Life is that, along with the blessings we've had. "Expecting the unexpected" certainly seems to be applicable.
But the more I thought about this, the more I realize that trying to expect ANYTHING creates a bit of anxiety.
Having expectations - whether they are focused on one goal or open to a wide range of possibilities (i.e. the unexpected) - still attaches us to something. That something may be broad, but it is still something.
When we think of the unexpected, the mind starts to run its usual wild course...trying to figure out just what that "unexpected" could mean. It is easy to get anxious just thinking about all of the possibilities and how one might prepare for those (or remain unprepared, and how one might deal with the consequences).
When we think of the expected, the mind crawls back into its comfort box...relying on what has always been and assuming that is what will always be. From outside the box, we all know this isn't how things work.
Drains will clog, tires will deflate, and this is life.
Smiles will be shared, accomplishments achieved, dishes cleaned, and this is life.
Why attach ourselves to any of it? Experience is momentary awareness of an ongoing flow -- when we attach to past or future, expected or unexpected, we step out of the flow and out of our awareness.
So, yeah, there was a lot of unexpected stuff that happened recently. But just like those days that go just-as-planned (those expected ones), I still fell asleep that night and woke the next morning.
Which means it was a pretty good day.
p.s. Amidst the expected and unexpected, I still have been creating for Art Every Day Month. I will be sharing works in progress and completed ones soon!