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Life: Full of Surprises…

20/05/2011

“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.” Ashley Montagu

Life: Full of Surprises... Congratulatory balloons

According to some believers, the world will meet its Maker on May 21st or by default on October 21st; some of us believe it and others don’t. I don’t. Life is to be enjoyed… and planet earth is not imploding anytime soon. We live on an incredibly fascinating planet that churns out all sorts of events daily; some of them we expect (like the weather), and others we don’t; like some of the upheavals around the world of late.  Even with our crop of psychics and seers, and others who claim to know the future, one thing is certain; that life is full of surprises and some are wonderful while others are horrible.

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like surprises. I admire people who get proposed to on national TV and such, but I’m not game for surprise parties or special little surprises… I’ve had my share of surprises, good and bad, and they are  part of life. The good ones make us happy and we cherish and revisit them.  The bad ones we either block out of our minds or hold close to our chests with pain. When I read the recent Daily Post prompt: describe a time you were truly surprised, I decided to share a couple of good ones I’ve had over the years.

“The road of life can only reveal itself as it is traveled; each turn in the road reveals a surprise. Man’s future is hidden.” Anon

Life: Full of Surprises... Birthday surprise

Some years ago, when I was still teaching, one group of students in an English Literature class decided to surprise me with a Thank you & Birthday party as a way to show their appreciation for the help they received in preparation for a big exam. It was the end of the semester and, as usual, I was expecting us to have a small in-class celebration with food and treats. Everyone came in with wrapped gifts, a lot of food, and a huge cake which was odd to me because our parties were usually small. Then a class leader emerged and announced the surprise. I was quite taken aback by their kindness, and there were tears and laughter all around… It remains a great memory. What about you?

“Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise.” Julia Cameron

Life: Full of Surprises... bouquet of flowers

“When you look into my eyes
And you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
It always comes as a surprise
When I feel my withered roots begin to grow
Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
That’s all right, my love, ’cause you’re my home”
Lyrics by Billy Joel

Another surprise was when I received my first special Valentine’s Day flowers   When I was in High School, many moons ago, I had lots of friends and whenever we had a school break/vacation, I’d travel to London and spend fun times with my friends going to parties.  Since I attended an all girls boarding school, we only got to party with boys during these breaks or on special school events.  On one trip home, I was introduced to a tall, handsome fellow and even though I was not interested in dating him, I liked his sense of humor and we became good friends. He would call me at school, from time to time, and send the occasional friendly card, and when I was in town, we would hang out with other friends, male and female, and attend parties.

One Valentine’s Day, I received a huge surprise when one of the school mistresses/head teachers called me into the common room to pick up a gift. I wasn’t expecting anything because I didn’t have a boyfriend and the guy I mentioned earlier was just a good friend. When I got to the common room, I saw a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the table; they were waiting for me. The flowers were gorgeous red roses with sprays of baby’s breath and beautifully displayed in a vase. There was a card attached and a sweet message but no name. Immediately, I assumed it was from tall and handsome and, later that day, when he called I thanked him profusely for the flowers. He was quite baffled because… they were not from him! I never found out who sent me the flowers but they were definitely a fantastic surprise. ;-)  What are your thoughts? What surprises have you had in life? If you had to pick 1 or 2 to share what would they be? Do share! Thank you. :-)

This post was inspired by a prompt from our Daily Post: Describe the last time you were truly surprised.

Positive Motivation Tip: Life is full of Surprises; some good and some bad… Enjoy the good moments and forgive the bad.

* By the way, this distraction free writing mode is cool. I like it!

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of cascading bouquet, Congrats, and Birthday cake candles via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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35 Comments leave one →
  1. 21/05/2011 12:09 am

    That bouquet is just beautiful! Can’t wait to hear the story behind that surprise.
    I’ve probably had a few surprises in my life, many of them, sadly, not of the good kind.
    I think meeting my husband was a big surprise – I certainly wasn’t looking at the time and despite all that has followed (which has included a couple of surprises) I still think meeting him is the best surprise I’ve had for many a long year.

    • 21/05/2011 12:54 am

      I’ve had my share too… and chose to share these two – they bring back warm and happy memories.
      Oh the bouquet caught my eyes and I love the blend of colors.
      All photos are from Wikipedia where I go to find public domain and suchlike photos. :-)
      Stop by again as I’ve added the story I promised to the post. :-)

  2. 21/05/2011 12:38 am

    Those are definately good surprises! My biggest surprise was probably my surprise goodbye party organised by frIends when I went abroad for half a year to study. It was great and I love my friends for doing that :)

    • 21/05/2011 12:57 am

      Yes, it is very touching when others make such effort to honor their friends… I don’t mind helping with surprises for others, I just don’t like them for me…
      Fortunately, my friends and family have surprised me with gifts and parties over the years… not too many but I remain grateful for their effort. :-)

  3. 21/05/2011 2:59 am

    How nice your students gave you a surprise party!
    I think my biggest surprise was when I was told I was expecting Twins at 30-31 weeks pregnant!

    • 21/05/2011 5:01 am

      At 30-31 weeks?!! Wow that is late in the game… I guess they never saw them on the sonogram. Are you a mom of twins? So am I ! :-)

      • 21/05/2011 7:12 am

        An aunt of one of my co-workers found out she was having twins on the delivery table after the first was delivered. That was over 40 years ago, of course – no ultrasounds I suppose. Ultrasounds were around when mine were born, which is over 30 years ago, but even then we only had an ultrasound if the obstetrician suspected there may be a problem, they were not routine at all.

    • 21/05/2011 7:25 am

      Yes and some doctors didn’t think it was necessary back then… they were all for the surprise of the baby arriving as a special gift.
      I’m glad we get to know in today’s world…Has saved many a Mother’s life when complications arose and a quick c-section was needed

  4. 21/05/2011 3:32 am

    Love that surprise party from your students.

    • 21/05/2011 5:00 am

      I loved it too… I enjoyed those years very much… :-)

  5. 21/05/2011 4:18 am

    Wow – all I can say is your boarding school was very different to mine! We were NOT allowed boyfriends!
    A secret admirer! How exciting! I wonder if you were supposed to clue on to who they were from and you accidentally left some more young man heartbroken all those years ago! :)

    • 21/05/2011 4:59 am

      Hi Robyn,
      We were absolutely NOT allowed to have boys over at my school. I didn’t have a boyfriend and the guy was a friend in London. I lived in London during school breaks/vacations but my school was not in London…
      My boarding school was 2 hours or so away from London. I had no idea who sent me the flowers because I was not dating at all… that’s why I made the assumption. Till this day I don’t know who sent them. :-)
      E

      • 21/05/2011 5:03 am

        Therein lies the difference – I spent holidays on the farm, 44 miles from the nearest town!
        Mind you, when I come to think of it, I was too young for boyfriends anyway when I was at boarding school!

      • 21/05/2011 5:43 am

        We were all too young for boys at school. I went to boarding schools from elementary through High School…
        You know, it is pretty typical to do so from our parts of the world. Plus I went to all girls schools.
        Yep, strict upbringing I had and it served me well when I moved to the US. Going crazy was not an option. :-)

  6. 21/05/2011 5:47 am

    when I saw the two portraits of you in your twitter account, I thought: yes, Eliz could be a model in New York (with or without dog); but actually I like to be inspired by your daily thoughts about a positive motivation. would you give permission to feature you in my wordpress blog? would need the two twitter-photos (or others) and some thoughts of that blogger.com-article about your dreams …
    greetings from Germany

    • 21/05/2011 5:59 am

      Oh you are funny… You read that post already? You move fast my friend. What kind of feature are we talking about Frizz?
      I’m on the do not feature list, so we can chat via email. :-)
      Thank you for your feedback!

  7. 21/05/2011 8:56 am

    Good story.I’m happy to read a heartwarming event although you live in so far place from my house.

    • 22/05/2011 2:55 am

      Oh Thank you for your kind words… I love reading others stories too…. I can imagine myself at their home, having a good time and such. :-)

  8. 21/05/2011 10:07 am

    Those are wonderful surprises. :)

    I’ve had so many throughout life, I wouldn’t know where to start. Getting married 35 years ago was a bit of a surprise, probably the best surprise of my life. Even meeting the man I married was a surprise as I certainly wasn’t looking for him or expecting to meet anyone that particular weekend. We met at the Jersey shore, at one of those piers off the boardwalk with rides and carnival games and such. I got on the ride he was working on. We said hello to each other and the rest, as they say, is history. :D

    • 22/05/2011 2:57 am

      What a wonderful way to meet your hubby – on the merry go rounds. I love it! You should blog about it. I love the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore. :-)

  9. 21/05/2011 11:56 am

    I tend not to enjoy surprises, but there was one sweet surprise the timing of which made a huge difference in the what’s-to-come.

    I left a party separately from the guy I was dating. I was heading home; he was heading to a party. He called me several times while I was driving, but I didn’t hear. I parked my car, saw I’d missed some calls and dialed him back. Walking back toward my house, we kept chatting.

    I got to the back door of my apartment and noticed a shape in my peripheral vision. I was about to bust out some pepper spray when I realized the form was talking on the phone, and saying things that could be heard both on the phone . . . and next to me.

    Before I let us in to my apartment, he said, “I really, really like you.” Had he not spoken those words that night, we would have been facing a very different world when I found a “+” instead of a “-” on a pee stick the next evening.

    So, while I generally hate surprises, I remain grateful for the fortuitous timing of that one. :)

    • 22/05/2011 2:59 am

      What an interesting story Deborah…. so did you marry this guy? I’m curious about what became of the stranger in the night story. :-)
      Loved it!

  10. 21/05/2011 1:06 pm

    Enjoyed reading this post. Life is full of surprises, some good and some bad. My last surprise was very good, my son surprised me with my Blog-up and running on Christmas Day. That was a real surprise and ! I like surprises, as long as they are good ones !!! :) Great Post !!

    • 22/05/2011 3:00 am

      Yes, your blog was a special gift and I’m glad you still blog. Does he get to read any of it? :-)

  11. 21/05/2011 1:07 pm

    Like you, I am not a big fan of surprises. I love planning them for others, but don’t want anyone surprising me. Control freak you say? hmmmm.

    My son and daughter in law danced to that Billy Joel song at their wedding. Love it!

    Fun post! Thanks.

    • 22/05/2011 3:02 am

      Hey Barbara….
      LOL! I guess we are control freaks of sorts. I just don’t want the surprise when I’m not up for it… I don’t want to be a spoilsport either. :-)
      I like that Billy J song too. Glad it triggered a happy memory for you.
      E

  12. 21/05/2011 1:11 pm

    I love surprises . . . of the happy sort.

    But even less ideal surprises wake us up a bit. They remind us to smell the roses while we still have the time.

    I’ve had surprise parties thrown in my honor twice ~ both times were huge fun and BIG SURPRISES.

    And having a Secret Admirer . . . awesome fun.

    Thanks, E!

    • 22/05/2011 3:03 am

      Good for you to have enjoyed your party…. Now I’m wondering if anyone ever had a surprise party they hated? That would be interesting.
      The secret admirer one had me stumped… till today. :-)
      E

      • 22/05/2011 10:54 am

        Really? Mystery solved? . . . Can you share?

  13. Jackie Paulson Author permalink
    21/05/2011 7:44 pm

    I really love your blog, and the pretty roses… I have honestly never been truly Surprised. I will be if I land this paralegal job which will be offered IF i get it tomorrow…sunday:)

    • 22/05/2011 3:05 am

      I hope you get it asap and I’m praying for your success Jackie. Thanks for stopping by… even as you work hard and are always so busy.
      I appreciate your blog support. :-)
      E

  14. 21/05/2011 7:46 pm

    When I was taking a course on Electricity (before teaching English!), my husband hid a Valentine’s gift in the room. The next morning before classes, Valentine’s Day, he called to tell me a gift was hidden in a room. It was a long gold chain with a gold heart pendant. I still cherish it. Yes, surprises have special places in our hearts.

    • 22/05/2011 3:07 am

      I agree… especially when they are done with a special loving event in mind. I love the idea of the gold chain with a heart hidden in the room. Surprises can be wonderful or sheer hell. :-)

  15. 26/05/2011 10:20 am

    It’s touching what the students did for you! As for the Valentine’s Day present, it must have been so exciting to receive the bouquet. Too bad you never found out who it was from!

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