Plan to Be Surprised

The tagline up at the top reads “An imperfect attempt to find some beauty the world has to offer. One week at a time.” I’ve been dwelling on my own mantra for the blog this week. Do I try, ever so gently, to embrace the imperfections within myself and within our situation? I know, without a doubt, that I am blessed and experience immense privilege. My family is healthy, I have a roof over my head, I get along with my mom, I live in a state that has beautiful weather, and sunshine, and mountains. This running list of blessings and opportunities to grow are perhaps where I should extend my focus.

However, I shift gears this week to find the beauty in imperfection. Practice what you preach right? So, here we go (with the disclaimer that I’m a little insecure about what will flow from these words because honesty in your experience always open the doors to scrutiny from outside audiences.) Here are the messy parts of me that I’m trying to reclaim as imperfectly beautiful.

1) Healthy choices haunt me. I love eating little kid snacks. At times that means carrots and ranch, or snap peas and hummus. At other times, like tonight, a balanced meal consists of pigs in a blanket and brussel sprouts. With a handful of Cadbury candy coated eggs. Sugary, delicious, refreshing lemonade too. Everyone deserves a good hot dog now and then right? I choose water frequently, but Diet Coke is also delightful. I once had a wise woman tell me, “Everything in moderation. Even moderation.” I love that phrase. I will try to choose the pea pods more frequently. There are anti-oxidants in walnuts right?


2)  I am an anxious person – I worry about our jobs, and when our landlord will sell the house we live in, and how to create a five year plan that is bullet proof. Baz Luhrman says that worrying is as effective as solving a math equation by chewing bubble gum. I know it’s not a productive use of my time, but I do, I worry. I’ve got several people who love me working on this with me. I say hello to my anxiety in the morning, and ask it to pass through my body, acknowledging its presence, and politely request it moves on. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I say goodnight to it, and sometimes, I let it sit until a moment of peace arises in my heart and I catch myself laughing.

3) I am messy. When you walk in the garage door into our house you will see four pairs of Dylan’s shoes lined up nicely on the door mat. When you stand on that very same mat, and look from the garage into the living room, and down the hall, you will see discarded pairs of shoes that mark my journey into the house that ultimately leads to relaxation for my bare tootsies. I discard my shoes, my keys, my mail, until we do a weekly round up on Saturdays. Dylan and I have separate closets because I leave my clothes on the floor, and don’t hang up my towel in the morning unless he reminds me to grab the potentially soppy mess. That mess is a part of me, so I lovingly embrace it.

4) I’ve been known to be sarcastically sassy. I snip when I’m under stress and when I’m hurting, or unsure of my space in this big, bold world. I like to think that I have a great sense of humor, but when I’m processing change or transition, I draw into myself and I snip. Sorry if you have been on the receiving end of that lately. When I’m aware of my own defense mechanisms, my reactions provide me chances to retry and regroup.

5) We commute. Both of us drive over a half hour to get to work. I bitch about it, and the driving, at times, eats into our evenings and our positive attitudes. Hallelujah for two cars and money for gas. Again, I know not everyone can utilize these luxuries. Negotiating how to change this concept of balancing where we live to where we work, or accept the things we can not control means analyzing how we can take personal responsibility here. And trust God that we are right where we need to be. That maybe, he, or she, has circled this place for us on a map.

6) I don’t have a five year plan. I stress out and jealously compare my dreams and pace of career to my friends who have said since the age of seven, “I’m going to be a doctor” and they are now doing it. I plan to dabble, and try things, and commit to learning. Have you seen that movie with Steve Carrel, “Dan in Real Life”? At the end of the movie he is giving advice and he says, “Plan to be surprised.”

That is entirely what I plan to do.

Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. Agree or disagree?

Biscotti: None

Essie: I need a color for a wedding I’m going to this weekend. Any suggestions?


  1. You remind me so much of me 10 years ago, except cooler, sassier and wiser. I love hearing about your journey and heartily say, “YES!, Embrace the imperfections!” If I had considered this more deeply at a younger age I would’ve greatly reduced my anxiety. It’s a huge battle for me, but definitely improving. Also, you need to get rid of all 1980s nutrition guidelines. Walnuts are awesome. So are lots of other fatty foods. Embrace the avocado. Enjoy that meat wrapped in buttery baked goodness. 🙂 xoxo

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