The Dangers of Expecting the Expected!

I’ve been thinking a lot about expectations this week. I had a call from a girlfriend earlier in the week. She sounded very upset and so we met for a drink. She explained it was her son’s 18th birthday and she had created in her mind a fantastic celebratory dinner which hadn’t gone to plan. Her children had been grumpy, her ex husband didn’t make eye contact with her, yet alone talk to her and the atmosphere overall was tense to say the least.

It reminded me of Christmas’s in the past when, as a single mum myself, I would only spend every other Christmas Day with my children. I worked so hard to make it perfect and in my head it was! Of course, things didn’t go according to my plan and I found myself becoming disappointed. Now, anyone else could have foreseen that the outcome of a perfect Christmas was as likely as England getting to the World Cup Final and winning on a penalty shoot out against Germany; the children weren’t inside my head, they didn’t know what they were supposed to say or how they were supposed to act during each part of the day. Quite honestly, even if they had they wouldn’t have been able or willing to have my perfect day. And why should they?

Last Saturday, I was due to spend a day with my partner, I’d planned two different trips with dinner in the middle and then he couldn’t make it. Once upon a time that would have made me so disappointed.

Luckily I’ve evolved over the years and so I chose to maximise the opportunity. I invited a friend who I hadn’t seen for ages to one event and caught up with my brother who I never see by himself and who invariably makes me laugh more than any other person I know (on purpose I should add in case he ever reads this!). I had a great day … a damned near perfect day.

And when I saw my friend on Sunday she said that her son had enjoyed his birthday. In fact, he’d been oblivious to the things she noted.

And my children always talk fondly about how much they loved their Christmas’s with me.

So my challenge to you all this week is to deliberately not set expectations (harder than you might think so but so worth doing). Without the pressure of the script you’ve created in your head the chances are things will be just perfect as they are.

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