I recently wrote about a day that was planned for wedding dress shopping with my daughter that did not go as expected. I had planned and thought out the day to go one way and circumstances sent the day in a different direction. The important part of the day was that we were able to find “the” dress, but I realized that the vision in my head almost derailed a special time with my daughter.
That day got me thinking about how my expectations have caused stress and disappointment in my life. Big, life expectations such as planning for pregnancy (infertility interfered), and smaller day to day expectations such as expecting more help around the house have not matched the vision in my head. How often do we not realize that our expectations can stifle the joy of an experience?
The best trip I ever took was a time that my husband and I decided to shorten a stay at a destination we had planned and took off on a road trip to nowhere instead. We made decisions based on how we felt that day and let the road speak to us. With no expectations, plans or reservations, I was free to fully experience where the day took us. We laughed off annoyances and reviled in the unplanned scenery and destinations that appeared before us. That trip was a revelation to me. I wish I could say that I was able to change my perspective, but I continue to live in my head…where lists and expectations (not sugarplums!) dance.
However, sometimes I am able to just let an experience unfold as it will, without adding the undue pressure of expecting a certain outcome. Those are the moments I cherish the most. Going forward, I expect to have fewer expectations….hmmm, I’m not sure if that’s a step in the right direction or not!