Hump Day: May your entire week be filled with happy surprises

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

I attended a banquet where four outstanding members of the local community were honoured. Three of them knew they were getting an award. The fourth did not. Keeping this secret from her was no piece of cake, either.

It’s almost impossible to surprise this person because she’s quite active in social media and someone was bound to slip up and announce the award to her by mistake. Thankfully, the surprise was kept until the very end when her name was announced. She was speechless and admitted that it takes a lot to surprise her.

I’m a lot like that, too. I’m pretty difficult to surprise. The only way I could be surprised with a birthday party would be if it was held in July. (My birthday is in March.) That would definitely surprise me.

I’d also be surprised if I won the lottery. Sure, I buy tickets, but the odds are against me. But, you know, someone has to win and it might as well be me, eh? Oh sure, it could be you, too, but what fun would that be for me? (Did I say that out loud?) YouTube is a great website to watch surprise videos. They’re addictive, too. Kids are surprised when they get that special toy for Christmas. Celebrities surprise fans by showing up at their house.

Soldiers surprise their families by coming home early. Couples surprise their parents by announcing a pregnancy. These are actually a lot of fun to watch. Some of them are hilarious, while some are very touching and bring a tear to the eye. Yeah, I think it would difficult if not impossible to surprise me.

In this context, I mean a happy surprise, of course.

As for nasty surprises, well those are another thing. I’m sure we’ve all received unwelcome surprises; an unexpected layoff, a sudden death of someone close to us, an accident or an unexpected hefty bill. These are the surprises that we can all do without, but they’re part of life. We’ve all had one of those days that starts out like any other perfectly routine day only to end in doing something that we would have never imagined earlier when we woke up – like sitting at the bedside of someone who’s sick in the hospital, planning a funeral or recovering from an injury.

How many have awakened in the morning thinking that today would be just like any other only to end the day lying in a morgue inside a body bag? That would definitely be a surprise, don’t you think? I often wonder if people get premonitions about these things. In the few seconds before you hit another car head on, does a little voice tell you, ‘Didn’t I tell you that buying those green bananas was a bad idea?’ I suppose it’s a question to which I’ll never get an answer, unless of course I’m the one getting the green banana warning. And so help me, if I do, I’ll be slamming on the brakes and getting the heck out of that car before hitting that speeding tanker truck carrying a double load of gasoline. Maybe I should just walk around with pillows tied to me while carrying a couple of fire extinguishers.

Like everyone, I’ve had nasty surprises. That telephone call telling you that someone died unexpectedly. And there’s the supposedly routine meeting with a boss that ends up being the one telling you that you’re being laid off. For married people or those living with their significant other, it could be a breakup that comes completely out of the blue. You thought you were the perfect couple. They cringed whenever they heard your voice.

There are so many people out there who’ve been blindsided by breakups. It must be devastating to have your entire world torn out from under you, especially when you had no inkling that anything was wrong.

What I hate when getting a nasty surprise is the sinking feeling in your stomach, not to mention that jump your heart makes. Perhaps it’s adrenaline to stop you from fainting, I don’t know. I just know it’s a feeling that I’ve felt before and one for which I don’t mind waiting a long time before feeling again.

If you’ve had your share of nasty surprises lately, take it upon yourself to turn that karma around and give a nice surprise to someone else. Buy someone flowers. Send them a nice card. Offer to shovel the snow off their walk. If you give pleasant surprises to someone else, you’re bound to get some in return.

We can’t always control the bad things that happen to us, but we can sure as heck make sure that good things happen to others. That’s one thing over which we definitely have full control. One thing’s for sure… you’ll be surprised at how good you’ll feel by happily surprising someone else.

My wish for you is that this week will only be filled with happy surprises. The kind that bring tears of joy, not tears of sadness.

The kind that make you go ‘Oh yeah!’ instead of ‘Oh no;’ the kind that floor you because you can’t believe your good fortune rather than making you drop to the floor in grief; the kind that make you want to celebrate the anniversary of that day forever rather than dread it every year.’ For this week, at least, let’s hope all our surprises are ones that make these cold winter days make us feel like we’re sitting on a Hawaiian beach at sunset while sipping a drink with a name we can’t pronounce.

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