Let's start with last week. I'm standing around with a bunch of other cops. We're waiting for a bus full of international, Special Olympics torch runners to arrive in town. They're passing through on their way to Los Angeles for the 2015 world games. Our job is to escort the runners to a town reception, complete with cheerleaders, music, speeches and a BBQ lunch.
I'm a bit distracted because, as Chief of Police, I'm one of the folks who has to give a speech. While I'm thinking about my speech, a van pulls into the gas station where we are staged. A woman emerges from the van, opens the side door, and leads a horse out.
I'm not making this up.
A miniature horse casually steps out of the van, looks around and snorts. The woman leads the horse over to me and asks why all of us cops are milling around. I tell her.
"Can you hold him? I need to get gas," she asks.
Like this is an everyday thing. And what do I do? Take the short lead rope and comply. Because in my profession it doesn't take long before you accept that life can be very random.
The miniature horse was only the beginning of my random animal experiences. After work, I came home to our cat Einstein sleeping on one of my jackets. I'm allergic to cats and try to avoid cat hair and dander on my clothes. I asked Einstein what he thought he was doing on my jacket. He looked up nonchalantly.
Then I told him more firmly to "scoot!"
He didn't appreciate my tone, and told me so.
I gave up and headed to the bedroom to change into some casual clothes. Our Alaskan Klee Kai (miniature husky) dog "Nanuk" followed me. When I emerged from the closet I found him on the sink counter. It's his new trick.
Nanuk does this to make it clear that he would like a walk.
I was beginning to wonder what the deal was with animals that day! A miniature horse, cranky cat and mountain climbing dog! Talk about a lot of random stuff happening in one day. However, the dog walk was relaxing. Afterward, we had dinner and I caught up with my wife and son. I sat down to read for a bit, but the day wore me out. Nodding off, I gave up and hit the sack.
Fast forward a few days later to today. It was unusually hot and muggy. I would have stayed in my air conditioned office, but I had to take my son to the photographer for his senior high school portrait.
I grabbed my leather briefcase and left the office. Into the hot sun.
I was tired, but the photo session went smoothly. The photographer had all these different tuxedo shirts and jackets for his high school clients. My son found one that fit and was soon mugging for the camera. The final photo of my son Conner appears above. Except he has since cut his hair.
Ever the artist, I decided later to doodle a cartoon of my son in the tuxedo.
I was struck by all the hair he has. A lot of hair. Kinda like Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall. I used to have hair like that. Back in high school. Not so much now. But I digress.
After the photo session my son got the bright idea that he and his buddies should go see the new movie Ant Man. Since my son doesn't have his license yet, I had to go pick up one of his buddies. And then pay for their movie tickets. And give them money for sodas and pop corn.
At this point my work day was almost over. I phoned my secretary and told her to lock up the office. I decided to call it a day and join the boys at the movie. Something random that I never do. Because I'm sort of a work-a-holic. But not today. If horses can pop out of vans, then I can hit the movies with the boys!
After the movie my son and his friends came back to our house to hang out, play video games and eat everything we own. Essentially I was banished from the kitchen.
Here's the thing though. I ended up in my art studio. Instead of collapsing on the couch, I found myself fiddling around with my wooden palette box. Which led to mixing some paint.
The next thing you know, I'm sketching out a little ocean rock study. I started with a loose block in. Then I began refining the rocks a bit. Which of course led to more refinement. I found the process seemed to flow pretty easily. Not a lot of thought, just mixing paint. Making marks. Adjusting. Stepping back. Looking in the studio mirror at the picture. More adjustments.
Soon the study came into focus. I changed some values and subordinated other areas to draw attention to the sun on the rocks.
At the end of the day, here's what I think. A lot of random, unexpected stuff happened the last several days. It started with the horse in the van. And the antics of my pets. Then the unexpected afternoon at the movies with my son and his friends. Later, as they laughed in the kitchen, I retreated to my art studio. My wife was at work, so I had no excuse not to paint.
The ocean rock study came together pretty effortlessly. No masterpiece, but a decent effort. Overall, it turned out to be a terrific day. I think a big reason for this is that I decided to roll with all this random stuff.
Random stuff makes your life better because it pulls you out of the mundane. The routine. It reminds you that the world holds so many possibilities. When you decide to roll with the random events of life, new perspectives can open up. And new opportunities. Like hanging out with small horses or seeing Ant Man with your kid.
Something random is sure to arrive in your life before long. When it does, run with it. You just might find it's that special something you've been needing to shake things up and awaken your spirit!