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#427: Unexpected Happiness

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"If you are open to it, happiness will find you." emoticon

When I posted that to the friend feed this morning I did not anticipate the lesson would present itself today, but I am thankful it did.

As I drove home early this afternoon, I passed an event in a shopping center parking lot. Lots of motorcycles and a smoker pumping out wonderful food smells. Also lots of men and women in black biker gear. But the food smell drew me in. I parked and talked to a few members of the "Wings of Gold" motorcycle club who explained they were having their annual fundraiser -- t-shirts, jewelery and other gift items for sale, raffles and all you cared to eat buffet for $10.00. emoticon

I went into the bar/lounge where lunch was set up and was faced with a roomful of black-clad bikers. I was only the third person in there not in biker garb. But I was immediately greeted and welcomed, paid my money and began the circuit of smoked chicken and pork, meatballs (one of my downfalls), various pasta dishes, desserts (I refrained) and numerous other dishes emoticon.

I found a table I could stand at, began enjoying the meal, listening to the music played by the live D.J. emoticon emoticon and looking over the crowd. The longer I was there the more relaxed I became.

Several people passed by and asked how I liked the meal. We talked about the fundraiser and the different charities the club assisted. I finished eating and wandered to the gift tables set up outside, found Christmas presents for my young niece, my firefighter nephew and my sister. Almost bought myself a beautiful black onyx ring but none would fit. Guess I need to lose a few more pounds. emoticon Had a nice conversation with the women selling the items and several more bikers who were also looking.

Although I do not frequent bars emoticon, one waitress told me that this one was home to a large number of charity fundraisers, often more than once a month. She laughed and said yes when I asked her if I'd be welcome if I didn't drink, unless they had a diet cola emoticon.

So, for today, the stereotype biker image was not what I perceived during the time I spent there. The people were friendly and outgoing and the food was absolutely delicious emoticon.

Will I stop there again? Not to drink or to hang out, but if there is another fundraiser underway when I pass by, then sure I will. Because, as posted, if we are open to it, happiness will find us, even in unexpected places with people we normally would shy away from. I learned, too, to take people as they come, that friendliness most often draws friendship in return, as does respect and politeness.

I enjoyed 90 minutes of happiness, good food and pleasant conversation I could have easily passed up if I hadn't been open to stopping to ask what was going on.

How about you? It may not be a biker event in a bar, but do you allow yourself to be open to trying things you normally wouldn't? Do you open yourself to happiness?

If not, think of what you could be missing and the people you might meet, perhaps at a yard sale, or church or school bake sale and carnival, a neighborhood get-together or numerous other activities that occur around us every day. All we need to do is open ourselves to new experiences and let the resulting happiness flow through us. emoticon
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