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Do the Unexpected

Mar 15, 2011


Picture 31 

Nearly every mid-sized town in America now has a Walmart.  In our city, there is a Walmart every 10 miles!  It is the ubiquitous symbol of a nation on a budget.

I’ve been in all the Walmarts near my home, and though they might look a little different from each other on the outside, the inside layout is almost identical.

Thankfully, for a woman my age, I know exactly how many steps there are from the front door to the restroom.  You’ve got to know these things, girls.

Awhile back, I found myself shopping at a Walmart I’d never been in before, and per my usual custom, I made a beeline for the restroom as soon as I entered the store.  I turned into the restroom vestibule, then took a right into the Women’s Room.


The man at the urinal looked over his shoulder at me with a horrified expression, and I looked back at him with a horrified expression, mumbled something that sounded like a squawk, and turned and fled.  I ran to the REAL Women’s Room and stayed in there for about 10 minutes, hoping to give the poor man a chance to zip up his dignity and leave the area.

Well, THAT was certainly an unexpected incident!  I guess when you do something a thousand times the same way, you naturally assume that the 1001st time will be exactly the same as the previous times. Talk about a surprise!

But my unexpected trip to the Men’s Room has had an unexpected side effect. 

Lately, I’ve found myself with a heightened sense of awareness in general as a result. I’ve been paying attention to details and looking for the “unexpected” in my everyday life!  Maybe I realized, in that moment of horror, that even awkward surprises are nothing to be afraid of.  They can break you out of your rut and into something kinda cool!  Unexpected twists make life interesting.

Today, I encourage you to do something unexpected yourself!  Try something that will catch your family off-guard, or will surprise a friend….or even yourself.  Maybe:

Take a different way home.
Take a walk…at night.
Try a new flavor of coffee.
Stop and get the ice cream cone your kids are begging for.
Turn a cartwheel.
Get down on the floor to play with the kids, instead of supervising from the couch.
Say YES! when your man asks, “Hey, you wanna…..”
Part your hair on the other side.
Add a colorful scarf.
See a movie in the middle of the day.
Order something new off the menu.

Find something that you’ve done a million times and find a way to do it in another manner. Sometimes, taking a simple detour from the “usual” can have an amazing impact…with a ripple effect that goes on and on. After all, our God delights in doing unexpected things – why shouldn’t we?

What will you do that’s different and unexpected today? I can’t wait to hear.

Rachel Anne