“I wonder how life will surprise me today…”

Welcome to Tuesdays with Chel.

Each week Chel Micheline of gingerblue dot com will offer her perspectives on our Bliss Habits. Please enjoy the wisdom and clarity she offers.

surprise at Trader Joe's - a gloxinia!

I was going to write this long thing about surprises and how it relates to change and blah blah blah, but I decided to go at the topic of “Surprise” from another direction, inspired by a song from india.arie.

The lyrics go:

“Early in the morning
It’s the dawn of a new day
New hopes, new dreams, new ways.
I open up my eyes and I open up my mind and
I wonder how life will surprise me today.”

I have been listening to this song for a few weeks now (it’s in rotation in my current iTunes playlist) and today I started asking myself the question: how *has* life surprised me these past few days?

I thought I might share my list with you.


1. I got some amazing life advice this morning that I will share with you. The “surprise” comes from the fact it makes so much sense.

The things that you most want to hear from someone in your life (examples: “You’re doing great!” “You are enough.” “I’m so glad I know you.” “I’m so proud of you.” “I LOVE you.”) are things that you should be *telling* others. If you are feeling a need for certain words, some certain specific encouragement, there is likely there is someone close to you who needs to hear the same thing.

And it is empowering to be the messenger, especially when it’s a message that is desperately needed.

So I challenge you- right now (I’ll wait)… think about what you most want to hear, the words that would mean the most to you at this VERY moment, the words that would be a balm for your soul, and go find someone in your life who you think might need to hear those same words. Say them. Mean them. And tell me if that doesn’t make things better for *both* of you in a very big way.


2. I found a gloxinia at Trader Joe’s. When I first started gardening, all I knew was that I wanted a gloxinia. I had one a few years ago and I loved it (but killed it) and I wanted to make amends. So I searched high and low for a gloxinia – all the local nurseries (and I do mean *all* of them), the home improvement stores, etc. Then I ordered some seeds (ha ha ha HA HA) online- clearly, they didn’t grow. Finally, one of the online nurseries I shop at had them for sale for about two seconds last spring and I nabbed two bulbs.

So imagine my surprise when I walk into Trader Joe’s last night to do some grocery shopping and they have a giant display of them? For $6 each?! I did get one. I couldn’t resist. It’s a double blossom and it’s *so* pretty. So now I have three.


3. I really love Hazelnut tea. Out of all the tea flavors at Adagio I put off trying Hazelnut because… I don’t like nuts. I like peanut butter, but nuts in a bowl kinda stuff make me a little sick to my stomach. So tea that tasted like nuts? Ugh. But I got desperate for a new tea flavor and ordered a sample of the Hazelnut. And, its, like, AMAZING. It smells amazing, it tastes amazing. Happy surprise!


4. The realization that I don’t have to finish reading a book if I don’t love it. It’s not worth the time. I can just move on to the next book in the pile.


5. Mrs. Meyers lavender detergent is pretty great. It doesn’t really scent our laundry (which is too bad), but our laundry room, especially inside the dryer, smells all sorts of great. Doing laundry is slightly less of a drag when I walk in there and it smells like a flower field.


6. Going to bed and getting up just an hour earlier every day has made a TREMENDOUS difference in my amount of “useful time” during the day. I don’t understand why, but I’m rolling with it.


7. It rained today- not enough to keep me out of the pool (the only thing that does that is lightning) but enough that I didn’t have to water my plants today and I probably won’t have to tomorrow. I LOVE gardening, but the break is appreciated!


8. Asking for love and support when you need it is an excellent thing. People step right up to give it to you when you let them know you need some. (It’s been a hormonal/PMS-y kinda week for me.)


9. I have a rose and two snapdragons growing in my garden. I *did* plant some seeds for them last summer (almost a year ago) but the seeds never did anything and I dumped the pots of soil back into the bin where I keep the dirt. A few months ago I filled two pots with dirt and planted some salvia seeds and now there are giant, flower-y snapdragons and a little rose bush in my garden. Happy surprise that definitely threw me for a BIG loop when they started growing.


10. I forgot how much fun shopping at Target can be. And then you get a discount on top for using your Target card…


11. Menu change at our favorite restaurant turns out to be a great thing, because there’s stuff on there that I love even more than our “regular” favorites. Also, Cheesecake Factory brought back their veggie burgers. Now if Trader Joe’s would bring back their spinach egg rolls, we’d be in business.


12. I forgot May is not only my birthday, but Mother’s Day. So I just might be getting that comfy-rocker-swivel patio chair I have been pining over before the summer starts rather than having to wait until after the summer is over to get it on sale. I am *very* excited about this. My porch swing is great, but it’s impossible to work or write or so much of anything besides read when I’m curled up in it. I’m very excited to have a big comfy chair to sit in and be able to write and sketch and paint while I’m in it.


13. I’m starting to like my own handwriting. I don’t *love* it, but I don’t hate it anymore. Hmmmm….


14. I found out that our favorite frozen yogurt place has chocolate sauce. I know this sounds silly, but we go there every week as a treat and it just makes it even better. I had no idea that chocolate sauce was exactly what I needed to make my life better, but there you go.


15. Slipping back into regular mindful practice, especially meditation, was easier than I thought it was going to be.


16. I won an awesome box of craft goodies from American Crafts.


17. Now I have a surprise for you. If you made it this far, leave me a comment sharing how life has surprised *you* lately. Comments will be accepted up until Sunday April 29th at 12am, eastern time. I’ll pick a commenter via random-number-generator and send that person a $15 gift certificate for Amazon.com (the US site). I will be EMAILING the certificate so leave a working email address in your comment. Good luck!

8 thoughts on ““I wonder how life will surprise me today…”

  1. I love surprises! I was surprised this week to find that creating cards during my lunch break makes me feel SUPER relaxed! It is like an instant stress reliever even though my job isn’t one I would normally consider stressful! Those moments away from the computer and working with my hands the way I love to do really did something wonderful for my soul! While I can’t do this everyday, I am totally going to bring kits now and then to craft at work!

  2. Suzan says:

    I have found that I am getting more creative as I get older! I discovered this only after I was thinking back on things I use to do and decided to try again. I was just amazed how easy these endeavors are now!

  3. Karen B says:

    I’m afraid (well, I’m not really) that my surprises usually come from my birdwatching – I’m constantly surprised, even in the ones I see regularly, by the beauty of their colours and markings. They instantly fill me with joy! But I also love the surprise of spotting something new – today it was a common sandpiper, a white wagtail and a willow warbler. I also saw an osprey and a pair of marsh harriers – all fairly regular at this time of the year, but still always a joy and a surprise! Yesterday my surprise was finding a sand bank covered in around 150 seals – with around thirty of them swimming and playing in the water not five meters away. I’m always surprised and delighted when I see red squirrels and deer.

    Oh, and this week I have been surprised to note that some of your awful truths are the same as mine, and that I really don’t have to lose my temper – which makes life sweeter for everyone!

  4. I love this post! Yesterday I was surprised by my 6 year old. He wrote me a note that said I was “beauwtfal” (beautiful). It made my day. Today my husband took the day off work which was a nice surprise. We went out for breakfast and lunch! That was nice. I cherish the alone time with him. Another surprise is the peach tree out back. Last year it didn’t have many fruit and none that was edible. This year, the tree is full of peaches which was a huge surprise to me. Every time I look outside I marvel at the tree.

  5. Life is a surprise EVERY SINGLE day. I don’t exaggerate. A surprise email from someone who stumbled across my blog, a phrase coming out of one of my children’s mouths (today it was from my son who, after a disagreement about his homework last night, came home today and said, “Mom, guess what? I believed you. I changed my answer and LOOK – I got it right!”), a shape or meaning that emerges from art after layers of wax or paint applied, a hawk that appears reminding me of so many things.

    I have been unbelievably blessed recently with good fortune, so please allow me to just share my surprises without being entered in your generous drawing. (What a beautiful surprise you offered!!) I feel as though the universe is providing me with exactly what I need – and now it is time to enjoy the surprises…but also recognize them as the beautiful messages they are to create through the mystery of these experiences.

    (p.s. I, too, also was surprised recently by the thought I don’t need to finish a book…AND went to bed an hour early last night and woke up 30 minutes earlier…and had an amazing day!) 🙂

  6. What a FANTASTIC post! I love how honest you are about the things that surprise you – in fact, it *surprised* me how such little things could be counted as a surprise. Definitely a “Hmph, never looked at it that way” kind of moment for me, and now I’ll be looking for those little surprises in my life too! Thanks for that.

    My most recent surprise is the fact that I’m feeling good about a situation that I once was feeling quite upset about…I’ve finally found the bright side of the situation and I’m concentrating on that. It’s surprising how much relief that can bring you once you’ve made the decision to be strong, move on, and choose happiness. 😀

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