“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. The Unexpected …..

00438 S 17apffgbh80438Photo: D. Paul Graham, “Fog on the Kam”, Kaministiquia River, Thunder Bay circa 1979

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. The Unexpected …..

I still remember the day I took the image. I was headed to the pulp mill in Thunder Bay where I pulled massive logs into the crusher for my summer job. As a 16-year-old, I enjoyed my early morning drives into work those days and always had a camera with me. As I crossed the bridge over the Kaministiquia River, a bank of fog unexpectedly began to roll up the river. I practically jumped out of the car to capture the unexpected moment. This past weekend, I spent a lot of time on my own in the midst of tens of thousands of people. Time that gave me the opportunity to think, to plan, to appreciate the moment, and to reminisce and to be thankful for all the unexpected experiences in my life. That unexpected image framed this morning’s M5T with thoughts of consciously seeking and living The Unexpected.

1. Cocoons

It’s very easy to live in a cocoon of comfort. It’s much more difficult to step out of that comfort zone. I want to constantly challenge myself to stretch, learn, and grow beyond my own level of comfort and in return embrace the unexpected experiences that this mind set will attract.

2. Human Nature

Human nature can be ugly, at least I know mine can. I never enjoy the internal response I have when someone makes an affront to my self-esteem, character, or pride. I abhor those moments when I have lashed out verbally, intellectually, or emotionally. Christ had the profound unexpected response of turning the other cheek in those situations. I want to live more like that.

3. Say It

I admit that I don’t suffer fools easily and the wiser choice often is to keep my mouth shut and I, in most cases will continue to keep my mouth shut with idiots. But for those that I care about the most, if I want to be a more genuine person, I need to become being less silent or political or polite and become unexpectedly more open, loving, and gracious when something deep is on my mind and heart.

4. Love

Showing unexpected love to someone that’s hurt or disappointed me. Yeah. That’s not so easy. See # 2 above.

5. One More Mile

I found myself thinking of the areas of my life that I have allowed complacency or a “good enough” mindset to leak into and become an accepted expectation. Whether this is in my faith, my relationships, my company, or simply with myself, I want to seek out those opportunities to set the bar higher, to go that extra mile, and to go beyond the expectations of myself and others.

Here’s to a week of recognizing, embracing, appreciating, and living the “unexpected”.

© 2023 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

For over 11 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T.