A Pleasant Surprise

by Nancy Casey

We make plans. We have expectations. Life happens, and things don’t pan out the way we thought they would. Because they turned out even better. Or some good thing we couldn’t have imagined occurred. Pleasant surprises. Whoopee! Today, write about one or more of them that you have experienced in your life.

Think about unexpected good things that have fallen into your lap as you set up your page. Draw a line across the top where your title will go. You can also draw a box or blob that you’ll use for illustration.

Have you ever dreaded an event or an encounter only to have it turn into a delightful experience? How about starting a task that you knew would be difficult, if not impossible, and then discovering that it was easy, a piece of cake? What about losing something very important only to have it turn up in the very first place you look?

If you are a bit forgetful, you can pleasantly surprise yourself in hilarious ways. Have you ever completed a task, forgot you did it, then experienced the surprise of having it already done when you set out to do it?

Strangers, friends, and loved ones can surprise us unexpectedly with kindness. Have you ever come up short in a check-out line and had the stranger behind you slap a couple dollars on the counter? Have you ever received a card, a gift, or a message from someone for no reason other than that they are glad that you exist? When have you received unexpected but very useful help?

Consider all those different moments when you saw the future as difficult or glum, and then—through no fault or effort of your own—something happy or heart-warming occurred.

Begin writing about the first pleasant surprise that comes to your mind. If there is still room on the page, write about another one. And another one, if it will fit. Until the page is full.

If nothing comes to mind at first, begin by scribbling or drawing. That can help your mind relax so you can think more clearly. When the memory of some pleasant surprise does pop into your awareness, write about it and see where it takes you. One idea usually leads to another one. If your ideas don’t flow easily, go back to doodling and wait patiently for them to come.

When you feel like you’ve written enough, stop. If there’s still room on the page, fill it with drawing or decoration.

When the page is completely full, look it over carefully and make small changes if you like. When a title idea floats to the surface of your mind, write it at the top of the page.

Write the date on the page too, along with a signature or your initials.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.

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Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.

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