Monday, April 6, 2015

E is for Expectations

Rainbow after a hail storm June 2011

Though we're only four months into 2015, if I had to choose one lesson I've learned this year it would be this: Expectations are bullshit.

I'm a planner. I want to know what's going to happen and when. I want to think things through so I can be prepared for potential outcomes. I'm so focused on what I think is going to happen that I don't see what comes out of left field until it's too late. I don't know how to stop having any expectations at all. My brain seems to do it automatically. I've worked hard over the past few years to change these patterns in my life. I've realized that expectation sets me up for disappointment and often prevents me from missing out on the excitement of anticipation and the joy of the moment. What I try to do now is recognize that I have expectations but not hold on to them quite so tightly.

When I left for my adventure in January, I said I didn't have any expectations but I was lying, although not consciously. I had a lot of thoughts about what I thought would happen and what should happen. Some of those thoughts were accurate but many of them were not. I certainly didn't expect that I'd be home two months later but that's where I ended up and I'm grateful for that.

I think it's impossible to not have expectations; of ourselves, of others, of an event we're planning to attend. So how does one let go of them? I don't have an answer for that so I'd love to hear how other people face this struggle!


  1. I think over the years I've learned not to put my expectations too high, but that came by trial and error of expecting a lot and then being disappointed when it didn't deliver.

  2. I'm all about the expectations and disappointment because of them. I think the best thing we can do is just try to manage them as best we can.

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!

    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

  3. Having kids made me tame my expectations. Whenever I would take them out, things would go wrong. They would spend half a wedding in the bathroom or throw up right before we entered a museum. I learned to enjoy things in little snippets and expect the unexpected!

  4. Letting go of expectations is about letting go of control. When you realize that you can't control your life's path too much, some of those expectations will fall away as well.