Serendipity is a fabulous word.
It rolls off the tongue.
Say it reeaaal slooooooowww.
Doesn’t that feel good?
Just saying the word conjures up images of the perfect moment. Unexpected joy. The happy accident. The perfect intersection of one’s desires with opportunity.
The problem is serendipity is a crock—a myth perpetuated by romantic novels and sappy movies (and John Cusack).
I bet if you looked back through your last seven days you wouldn’t be able to find one serendipitous moment. You wouldn’t be able to point to one instance where joy fell unexpectedly into your lap.
We don’t have time for that kind of nonsense any more. We’re too busy and we’re far too connected.
Today life is about planned events. We create events on our calendars. We send out e-vites for surprise parties. We rehearse for weeks before proposing whatever it is we want to propose, hoping the camera catches the once in a lifetime reaction on the first take. We never get lost and stumble onto someplace we didn’t expect, because our GPS has already planned our path.
We tag. We post. We text. We plan. We schedule. We leave nothing up in the air. Believe me, I know. I am a creature of structure and agendas.
And while we claim to enjoy immersing in a bit of fantasy with books, movies, and games, we leave little real space in our lives for those unanticipated moments. When they actually do happen we often don’t stop long enough to enjoy them. We may not even recognize them. We simply look at the time and assess our schedule. We’ve got things to do. Places to see. People to pick up. Errands to run. Maybe we can fit in this bit of serendipity tomorrow. How does 2:30 look for you?
What more could we bring to our lives if we turned off the GPS and planned a little less?