When I’m working, or doing something around the house, I really concentrate on what I’m doing.  I focus.  Today I was mixing dough to make cinnamon rolls, and I was also listening to a program on the radio.  I was focused on program I was listening to, but I was also focused on adding flour to the dough, –counting the number of cups of flour that I was stirring into the dough.  Suddenly John was right beside me, and saying something to me.  I was really startled!  I had not heard him coming.  He thought that surely I had heard him coming into the kitchen, but I was already focusing on two things at once and I didn’t have room in my mind for a third thing.

I think people get upset with me when I startle when they enter a room and are right behind me and suddenly (to me) speak to me.  I’m not sure why they seem to be offended by my startle reaction, but they sometimes seem to feel upset that I have that startle reaction.

John wasn’t upset with me but several weeks ago it happened with the pastor at the end of the church service.  I was standing in the pew, with my back to the aisle, and I didn’t see or hear him approaching.  He came up behind me and boomed out, “How are we doing today?”  I was so startled that I really jumped and felt that my heart had lurched.  Then he said, “Oh, a little jumpy are we this morning.”  Then he didn’t listen to my explanation that I hadn’t heard him at all.  He just walked down the aisle, to the back of the church.  That was a week before Christmas and he hasn’t greeted me from behind me since.  He only greeted me once since then and that was to say, “Merry Christmas, as he walked past me without pausing.  If he wasn’t offended, he seemed to be and I’m sorry that I really jumped.  But I really couldn’t help my startle reflex.  I was completely unaware that he was walking down the aisle behind me.

I’m glad that John understands that I startle easily.  He really thought I had heard him come into the kitchen.

My heartbeat went back to normal and I finished my work with the cinnamon rolls.  They turned out very well.  John really appreciates having the cinnamon rolls.

I don’t like surprises most of the time, but of course, some really nice surprise, like someone bringing me a hot fudge sundae unexpectedly. would be a very welcome surprise.

About NJ

I love to write! I realized in 9th grade that I really enjoyed writing. Every two weeks we had assigned topics that we were to use to write an essay. I liked writing the essays. I'm a mom and a grandma. None of my family live nearby, but they visit when they are able to come. I've been a pastor's wife and a grade school teacher. Now I'm retired and enjoying visiting others, and indulging myself in my hobbies, --writing and art activities. I'm very thankful for the blessings in life.
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3 Responses to Surprise

  1. Sally says:

    You’re not alone, Nancy, I seem to have the ‘startle’ down pat. 🙂


  2. Nancy, I startle at any loud noise. I wouldn’t like a man’s booming voice coming up behind me either. Forget whether your pastor is offended by your startle reflex; it’s his problem and not yours. You did nothing wrong. And now I want a cinnamon roll. xoxo

  3. NJ says:

    I do have good hearing, but I don’t always hear footsteps coming from behind me. I’m often focused on something else and not especially listening, so when someone suddenly appears or speaks to me, I really startle. And, having a cinnamon roll sounds good to me, too. They aren’t heavy, as a donut would be.

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