“My momma always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” -Forrest Gump

A few weeks ago I was explaining this quote to my daughter, who hasn’t experienced the mystery of chocolates. We realized that most of the chocolate boxes she’d seen had the “map” in the cover (probably to identify the candy with nuts, don’t you think?). My husband joined the conversation and this became the quote of our week around here, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when a large box under the tree (To Emily, From Forrest) turned out to be a two pound box of chocolates.

As much as I love chocolate, of course I’ve been sharing with everyone else (because let’s face it, 2 pounds is a lot of chocolate…plus, that’s just how I roll). Yesterday my husband took a bite of one and exclaimed, “The box of chocolates was good to me this time!” I asked what he meant, and he said, “This time it was a truffle.”
“Didn’t you look on the map?” I asked him.

“Nah,” he said, “I like to be surprised.”

I sat with that for a few minutes, realizing that I had looked on the “map” every time I made my selections. I wondered what that said about me. I wondered what that said about him!

Usually at this time of year I reflect on the previous year. I think about the goals and plans I made for myself at the beginning of the year, and consider which things worked and which were unsuccessful. Of course lots of things in life ARE like Forrest’s box of chocolates: not everything is mapped, and we can’t know what’s around every corner. However, like the tragedies that sometimes come, opportunities are as likely to appear in the same way: unplanned and uninvited. Can I deal with tragedy and take advantage of opportunity if I “wing it” a little more? More planning…or more surprise?

If you could know what you were getting every time, would you always look, or would you choose to be surprised? Do you make a lot of plans and resolutions for each New Year, or do you “wing it?” What do you think?