I love and hate surprises. While God says that the sort of cognitive dissonance that it sounds like I’m talking about here is one of the things that she loves (and hates) about us humans, she also insists that I explain a little more of what I mean.

One of the things that can be comfortable about getting old, while at the same time being annoying, is getting “set in our ways.” We (and by “we” I mean “me” but almost certainly a lot of other people too) develop habits so that we can get through life without too much bother. Part of developing habits is good. I’ve already done the experimentation to find out that I’m really fond of my brand of mayonnaise and that the competing “whip” has nothing miraculous about it, so I’ve made it a habit to buy the right brand. Part of developing habits that is, well, maybe not bad, but at least annoying, is that a lot of the joy of discovering and figuring things out is gone.

So how does this relate to “surprises?”

It’s pretty simple. Surprises interrupt our routines. Now I don’t mind it when the surprise is something that’s really nice and when the routine interrupted is not particularly important, but as I’ve established more and more what I like and what I don’t, the odds that the surprise is something better than the things I’ve already made a part of my routine, get smaller and smaller. So less and less I look forward to being surprised in my everyday life, but I know that there’s still plenty of awesome surprises waiting for me, and I wouldn’t give up the chance to get those if given the choice, not even if I knew that I could have the perfect day but that to get it I would have to have that same perfect day every day for the rest of my existence. So for me, yeah, surprises are better than perfection. But could we maybe schedule them so that they don’t interrupt my routine?

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