I had a bully in grade school who always stole my lunch. Not the whole lunch, just the good stuff.
Being a scared little boy, even though I was quite big for my age, I never stood up to the bully, didn’t tell anyone about the crap he was stealing, and was always surprised come lunchtime to find my chips, dessert, or even my sandwich gone.
I wasn’t learning my lesson about the unexpected. I was just being a victim to it.
Then, one day, my best friend told me he saw Brian getting into someone else’s lunch box. I pretended to be surprised, afraid to say anything. Crap. Was I now responsible for Brian stealing stuff out of other kids Scooby-Do lunch boxes because I kept my mouth shut? I think not!
That was the day, I knew what to expect and did something about the unexpected. I didn’t let the unexpected eat my lunch. The first chance I got, I went to my cubby, grabbed my Hot Wheels lunch box, emptied everything into my arts and crafts box, and left a note in my lunch box. That note had one word written on it.
That was the day I taught myself the valuable lesson of calling bullshit (even though I wasn’t allowed to say that word) on the unexpected and on Brian. I knew what to expect now that I knew he was going to steal from not only me, but from others in the class. No more unexpected. Unexpected stood there naked, raw and real in front of me with the truth about Brian and his thieving ways and I took control.
Of course, over the years to come, I would have more Brian’s, lunch box thefts, unexpected stuff kick me in the ass, until I learned, or at least became more prepared to simply embrace the unexpected and to stop jerking myself off complaining about the stuff I could fix, and learning to let go of the unexpected that I couldn’t fix.
There’s no logical reason for the unexpected to eat your lunch unless you allow it to. Yeah, that’s what I call the moral of the story. What else did you expect?
Oh, and that was the last time Brian stole anything from my lunch box. Yeah, I ROCK!