The Unexpected

The Unexpected

The unexpected
Is right around the corner.

It is waiting
For just the right moment

Pouncing, surprising,
Bringing a friend along.

Chaos, yes chaos
Is the friend.

Cry, scream, whatever
Just adds to the din.

Take a breath, pause
Relax enjoy the moment.

Learn and then teach
Others to manage unexpected chaos.
Originally written:  May 8, 1999

The hair on the back of my neck stands up.  I know it is
coming.  It is just a matter of time.  When it will appear
only the Lord above knows. 

Unexpected chaos comes in many forms.
It could be simple bad news in a bill or damage to your
home or car. Illness in self, family member or friend
also can bring disruption to my life on many occasions.
I have had some interesting happenings that crying
or anger would just be wasted.   A truck backed into the
house with ladders that poked holes in the siding and
moved the first floor wall in 5 inches.  I have my parents,
brother and older sister pass away.  I have a living
younger brother who has been dead several times and
revived each time. Thank the Lord.  I could go on and on,
but I know I am lucky compared to many other people.

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6 responses to “The Unexpected

  1. Oh Frank, I spent so many years of my life watching for pianos fall out of the sky and land on me. By that I mean I had the constant attitude of projecting whatever bad thing could happen next – I was writing my own self-fulfilling prophecies – and they were never joyous ones!

    I have learned to live in my day and to accept what is, just is. I am powerless to change people, places and things. However, I do have the power to change my reactions and I continue to learn to ‘Let Go’ and do the best that I can – sometimes that means doing nothing. It can be so hard, especially when it involves my kids, but I have to let them follow their own journey and just be here to pick them up when they fall rather than carry them.
    smiles and blessings

    • Juliana, It is especially difficult to stand back and let our children make their own mistakes. I, like you, try to be there when the ask for help. I have changed from providing answers to providing information for them to evaluate and make their own decisions. The switch was very difficult for a father who grew up providing solutions and fixing problems. Like you I learned to let the kids learn from their life lessons.

      The poem comes from a combination of my job and home life with 3 girls and a boy growing up and leaving home. My job was a team leader of a global group of software engineers that managed clients business crisis involving software problems. These were issues from some of the largest banks, telephone, and insurance companies around the world. It was a very interesting and challenging job. I never knew what incident would fall from the sky at any given moment. I have some interesting personal stories..

  2. We are all at the mercy of the unpredictable. People who believe they can control every event of their life are more quixotic than Don Quixote.

    • True, very true…. We cannot control the unpredictable. We can only change our personal reaction to it. There is no way to be prepared to handle all the kinds of things that cold happen. Yet, in reaction to the chaos I have felt like Don Quixote many a time.

  3. I’m drawn to comment about ‘chaos’ because it’s something that’s been especially relevant to me in the last couple of days.

    I work in a retail store 1-3 days a week and the last couple of days, we I was flat strap helping to re-organize and decorate parts of the store with our Christmas merchandise.

    In the process, the store underwent a transformation from its organized and attractive layout to an uninviting area of clutter and chaos. Well, that’s how it seemed to me although it didn’t seem to bother our customers at all. I felt a need to apologize for the ‘chaos’. Yes, that’s the word I used :).

    The store is looking a lot nicer today although there is plenty yet to be done. But this recent experience and your post has made me reflect on why we have this experience of chaos.

    I think it’s because we (unconsciously) assume that things are going to go a certain way and when we find that they don’t, we experience ‘chaos’. Which makes me think that if we didn’t assume and expect things to go a particular way but instead assumed and expected that they could go ‘any’ way, then we would not experience chaos, now would we? 🙂

    • A retail store preparing for the holiday season is chaos personified. The change over to holiday decorations is a complete makeover. It is interesting to me that it has moved earlier and earlier over the years. I do not envy you being in the middle of it. Yet, I want to say the end result of the make over is very satisfying. Thank you for your contribution.

      I believe you are right “expectation” is one of the key elements in managing chaos. Yet, I have found even though chaos is expected, there are moments when everything is out of our control. It is one of those moments when belief in a higher power is invaluable along with a cool head and persistence in managing what is controllable. Keeping focus on what can be achieved gradually reduces the chaos and finally restores a good result. Thank you for your keen observation and comment.

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