Surprises? What surprises?

I am not often surprised.

It’s the awful control freak aspect of my nature that prevents it. I have to know what is going on in every aspect of my life. It’s a necessity for me. It prevents anxiety. It allows me to prepare.

I lived with so much uncertainty for so long, I learned to adapt. My adaptation was to prepare. To control. To anticipate. To look for clues and make deductions as to what was going on.

I’m pretty good at figuring things out, too. Few things go under my radar when it comes to me directly. (Interpersonal relationships are different and an entirely different blog. I’m not great at relationships. But I can solve puzzles. Yes, that I can do. I can also figure people out pretty well, but I get myself in trouble because I make people uncomfortable with that. So, I try to keep my mouth shut. But, really that’s another “fun” way to put observations together. But, definitely not good for interpersonal relationships…)

Now that a great part of my life that caused the uncertainty is gone, I’m still a control freak. I really try hard not to control what other people do. I’m all about letting other people be themselves and love who they love; do what they do. But I need my control of my own little world. It sucks.

To be honest, I even planned my own birthday for years. I was disappointed with not having any effort made (or the last minute, “I’ll be late coming home from work today,” AKA “I didn’t feel like doing anything for you until today” effort) that I made my own plans. I got my own birthday French Silk pie. I planned my own family weekend getaways. I did it.

Now… This year was completely different. Yes, I planned a day with my kids (money didn’t allow for a road trip unfortunately). We went to a restaurant and had a family day. It was really nice.

To make my life “complicated” I had a wonderful friend (who continually keeps me on my toes intellectually) call me on my birthday (for our annual lunch) and ask for my address. I was informed that I will receive a gift. “It’s a surprise.” Great. I just looooove surprises. But, the fact that this friend wanted to do something like that was a surprise, a great one, itself. I will agree that I actually enjoyed the surprise that someone planned a surprise for once.


I have been driving myself crazy trying to figure out what this “surprise” could possibly be. I have absolutely no clue. It’s upsetting my applecart.

One aspect of me loves the challenge of trying to figure it out, but I know I never will. All I know is a) it’s NOT bigger than a breadbox, b) “it’s complicated,” c) my friend did not send it directly and d) there is no specific timeframe in which I’ll receive it.

Talk about torture to someone like me.

I’m really trying to look at the bright side here – I am incredibly blessed to have a wonderful friend who would think of me on my one day of the year. And that friend knows me well enough to find the one thing to do that will make me obsess day-after-day. I will look at that as a gift.

But, I really still do not like surprises.


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Patricia J Grace

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