Planners do not like surprises – interruptions, detours, and roadblocks from routine and commitments. What should be done has to be postponed or canceled by surprise events, new imperatives, and cancellations.

We can enjoy unannounced birthday celebrations and unexpected gifts, but they too are disruptive and require adjustments in time and energy. These good surprises are accommodated and enjoyed, but others are

only endured.

Surprise! Life is changed for everyone these days. Fear of disease and death has demanded daily limits on normality, including repudiation of work and family association. Then snow and ice make life even tougher. Not nice surprises.

First reaction is sadness, as much of dismay as of the fun of surprise parties. In both cases, one is floored by the shock, then overcome with emotion, and ultimately left with abiding psychological residue. Surprise pandemics and storms rob us of the life we used to live and substitute a suspended animation, a prison-like restricted existence.

There is some consolation knowing that the world has much more horrible surprises, like earthquakes, tornados, volcanic eruptions, floods, etc. Those often deadly surprises display the inevitable unexpected in human life. We had better learn to live with it – there is no alternative.

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