I was probably two or three at the time. I’m pretty sure it was while we lived in Indianapolis, Indiana because I don’t remember the story and those are my too-young-to-remember years. I’ve heard people say they can remember stories when they were as young as two, but I am always skeptical. We’ve heard stories told by parents and relatives and our conscious, I think, just sort of puts them into our would-be-memories bank. I told my parents once that I remembered being at their wedding and even where I stood. Of course, I hadn’t even been born yet, so there was no way I could remember anything of the sort. I was persistent, however, because my imagination is quite strong.
Anyway, one of the stories my parents told had to do with can goods. Our food pantry was a cabinet within easy reach of my two or three year-old hands and obviously I was quite bored with the normal toys that I can picture strewn across the house. Cans are similar to building blocks, so I started building odd creations and rolling them around on the kitchen floor, lost in whatever goes through a two year-old’s mind. I also peeled all of the wrappers from around them. They must have been in the way and the silver of the metal can was much better to look at as it rolled on the floor anyway, I am sure.
Of course, my mother wasn’t too thrilled when she discovered my progress. For the next week, dinner was a surprise of sides. There was no way of knowing what was in the cans, so she just grabbed two, opened them up and that was what went with dinner. We either had two vegetables or a whole bunch of the same vegetable. Every night was a surprise.
Some people hate surprises. They don’t want surprise birthday parties, surprise visits, or unplanned activities. They prefer the expected, those things that have been predicted, planned and prepared for. Anything else throws them completely out of whack.
To be honest, the majority of a person’s life can be predicted. You know when to expect bills, when your work day begins and ends, and most know what they will do on any given weekend. However, the best parts of life sometimes come from the unexpected and it is those moments we need to relish, holding them dear to our hearts, because sometimes in those moments comes the greatest memories. We need to look for things that will surprise us on a regular basis. It’s what keeps life exciting.
Don’t allow the unexpected to knock you out of your comfort zone and send you hiding under the bed. Instead, give it the opportunity to stretch you past your boundaries and comfort zone. Life doesn’t have to be lived all neat and clean. Sometimes, it’s more fun playing in the Mess.
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