Embracing the Unexpected in 2021

Réveil Samaritain on a rainy night

A chilly, rainy night in Paris back in 2018 brought to mind a good life lesson that I learned, and how I’ll strive to approach 2021. As the introvert in the marriage, I willingly take on the responsibility of vacation planning. This typically involves extensive research about flights, hotels, restaurants, public transport, tours, etc. In doing my research for this particular trip, I came across a crêpe restaurant that looked too good to ignore. It was now on the list. On the night Robbie and I agreed to eat there, the weather looked fine…until we stepped foot out of the hotel on our way to the restaurant in another part of the city, via Paris subway. After a couple of blocks, the torrential downpour turned us back around. Yes, I was glad that common sense had prevailed but I was equally disappointed that our dinner plans were scrapped. We happened to spot this other restaurant a half-block from our hotel that, at first glance, looked like the perfect place only because of its proximity. My initial feeling of having to settle for this “Plan B” restaurant soon changed. The extremely inviting and friendly atmosphere, along with great food, helped get me on board. In fact, our waitress at Réveil Samaritain helped make it a unique experience by allowing me to practice my French with her. It turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of the entire trip.

Yes, planning, for whatever the situation, is a smart strategy. At the same time, however, it’s equally important to open ourselves up to life’s unexpected twists and turns. For example, we may have an idea or goal about what direction we want our career to go, but things in life often don’t turn out as planned, and often it’s due to circumstances outside our control. Ironically, it’s sometimes the thing that comes out of left field that proves to be the even better option. Personally, I’m excited to see what 2021 will bring, and am cautiously optimistic that it’ll be an all-around better year than 2020. And I’m trying to stay as flexible, adaptable and open-minded as possible to recognize all the unforeseen plot twists and possibilities that could materialize.

Coincidentally, today’s message on my new 2021 “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” calendar says, “We always increase the odds of making something happen when we have a plan designed to take us where we want to go.” I agree with the message for sure, but I also think that things happen for a reason, and sometimes it’s the unplanned, unexpected things that ultimately get us really excited!

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