You know those mornings when you set your alarm clock and plan to wake up early, and then wake up when it goes off but instantly hit the snooze button, and then it goes off again and you promise you’ll get up in five more minutes, but then you fall asleep and don’t wake up until you’re already late? Yeah, I had one of those mornings.
With just ten minutes to get out the door to catch my bus, it was a mad scramble. I flew out of bed, dashed to get dressed, and left my bed unmade. Luckily, my mom was there to make me a lunch while I had just enough time to prepare a bagel for breakfast. I then grabbed my bag and my bagel, slipped on some flip flops, and made it out the door with zero minutes to spare.
As I walked to the bus stop, eating my bagel on the sidewalk, I grumbled between mouthfuls about how I was never going to do that again and how I was completely through with being rushed in the morning. Of course, I had a wicked case of deja vu as I said the words (I seem to have foggy memories of other similar mornings), but at that point I was just glad I made it to the bus on time. I’m still kind of amazed that I haven’t ever missed it.
In any case, a lot of the best adventures start out like a rushed morning. Nothing goes according to plan. You say you’re going to do one thing but end up falling asleep or getting lost and a whole new adventure springs up from the ruined plans of another one.
Just look at poor Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit. He just wanted to have a peaceful dinner at home when a crowd of boisterous dwarves burst into his house. If they hadn’t come, though, there would be no tale to tell. And if Lucy had never decided to hide in the wardrobe in The Chronicles of Narnia, she would never have mistakenly stumbled into Narnia and begun their adventure there.
And when you think about it, stories are much more exciting when something unexpected happens. I find greater pleasure in telling someone all of the unexpected things that went wrong in my day than all of the things that went according to plan. Like that time my family went on a camping trip and had to wait for so long in traffic, we ended up having to set up our tent and eat our dinner in complete darkness. Or that time I accidentally turned the volume on my aunt’s TV up so high, my sister and I thought we were going to die or go deaf. We sure didn’t expect either of those things to happen, but they’ve now become stories that I love to tell.
So while my morning was stressful and hectic and not at all something I want to do again, I do have to admit that it gave me a good story to tell. Much better than if I had gotten out of bed on time.
What are some stories you love telling because they were unexpected?
May life’s crazy wrenches in your plans, at the very least, make for a good story to tell.