When we moved to Colorado, we anticipated celebrating our first white Christmas. No snow fell that year - I think the temperature was in the 50s. As a new hire at the newspaper, I "volunteered" to work on New Year's Eve. There are no days off for the news. The next year, I said I would work on Christmas Eve. Why not? I already was supposed to work on Christmas Eve day. That year, there was a historic blizzard and we got snowed into our house in Monument (just north of Colorado Springs). The snow blanketed our VW bug - we only had a one-car garage - and drifted up to the bottom of our roof. I couldn't make it into work that Christmas Eve, our friends couldn't share Christmas dinner with us. In fact, we didn't go anywhere for a few days, but were the first car following the snow plow up our dirt road.
My expectations can be huge - especially this time of year. I'm learning to release them, to be alert and open to the unexpected. I'm a list person. At the end of the day, I like to check things off my list, whether actual or mental. I've even been known to add items to my list that I've already done just so I can check them off! But I've found that if I am willing to toss my list aside, the unexpected can be a wonderful surprise - the chance to spend time with a friend, to help out someone in need, to do something fun with my husband and/or daughters. The list will still be there - ready to finish another day.
The unexpected can happen at any time. There's no sense in preparing for it...wouldn't that make it something that's expected? So here's to the unexpected this Christmas!