Posted by Kathy Silvia.

Don’t you just love surprising someone?  I love doing something for someone when they least expect it; the joy it brings tends to lift spirits, for both the giver of the surprise and the recipient.

The other day I returned some cans and bottles at the recycle location near my home, and left the slips in the machine.  I hid and watched the joy on the person who came after me.  A smile came over his face and you could tell that his day was going in the right direction.

Surprises can come in all forms, from showing up on the doorstep of a lonely person, to sending a card or a note, doing a job that has been on hold for a long time and surprising the boss or spouse with the completed project.  They can be spur of the moment surprises from paying for coffee for the person standing behind you in the line, or the careful planning of a surprise birthday or anniversary party.

I know that some people will say “I hate surprises”, but studies have shown that surprises can boost memory, and pleasant surprises make us happier and surprises can add spark to a relationship.

Recently I planned a surprise.  It took careful planning and the help of others.  My daughter and her husband had been training for four months in preparation to run The Chicago Marathon on October 13, 2019.  I have been a runner off and on, and wanted to surprise them to cheer them along the grueling 26 miles.  My daughter even invited my husband and I to come out, but I told them they would be to preoccupied that weekend.   I flew to Chicago on October 12 (my husband home sick with pneumonia) and spent the night at the home of my son and daughter-in-law.  We had a great day with the grandchildren.  Early in the evening I called Jennie and Jeff to wish them luck. My daughter in-law had texted my daughter to tell her exactly where they would be along the course.   Jennie was “looking” for them.  She was not looking for me.  The video you will see shows the joy and excitement when she saw me.

Planned or unplanned, look out for those opportunities to surprise someone else..and enjoy the look on their face.