Things don’t turn out how we expect them to. I put this bottle of sparkling water in the freezer last night so that it would be the perfect temperature by the time I returned from walking my dog. The meandering walk took us beyond our routine loop and by the time we got home 45 minutes later, I had forgotten all about my great plan for a delicious sparkling beverage.
This morning I woke up. In a funk. Quickly tried to pin the mood on to a reason. Remembered it is best not to go there. All that usually happens is my head spins up lots of stories why I should feel self pity and then I’m worse off than I started. So I asked the universe for some kind of inspiration. I can’t spend the whole day in my head like this. I started making breakfast. Opened the freezer and there was my bottle of now frozen sparkling water. I wanted to be mad at myself. Current mood was helping in this direction. Why did I forget the bottle was in there? Stupid! A feeling of curiosity quickly took over, however. Look, the bottle had expanded enough for the paper label to pop off! I wonder how the container and the water will act as it thaws? And then the bottle started making noises! I wanted to capture a little video of it for Facebook and noticed that everything about this bottle was screaming for me to take a photo. And so I took the photo and, as happens to me when I’m in this zone, everything melted away (ha! Didn’t even intend to make a pun there!) and in spite of myself I was present in the moment and full of joy and peace. This always feels unexpected when it happens but it also happens every single time I’m focused on capturing a moment with my camera(phone). And now I feel grateful. Just like that. No more self pity.
A mentor used to say to me when I brought her some big issue that was making my life hard and my head crazy: “Let’s be curious.” In moments when I was most convinced that what was happening was not what I wanted and definitely not what I needed, her suggestion was for me to practice curiosity instead of anger, resentment, and refusal to accept reality as it was. It is not an easy task, but it is possible and the shift in perspective it provides is quite amazing. Even shocking.
So today I’m grateful that things aren’t what I think they should be. I’m grateful that the sparking bottle of water wasn’t meant for me to enjoy last night, but provided a much needed redirection this morning and even inspired me to make art and write. I wonder what other surprises are waiting for me in all the things that have causes me pain or have unfolded contrary to my ideas of a good time?