Thursday, January 31, 2008

Great Expectations

Intention for 1/31/08: Be right here right now.

Expectations. They are the bugaboo of our lives, aren't they?

From the time that small children are fed the fables of Santa Claus bringing "no-string attached" gifts, to the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. Expectations of great magical things that never quite live up to all the hype.

Later there are expectations of life: satisfying work, true love, life-long friends, a long life well-lived. These are the big expectations. And the smaller ones: that people will call when they say, that things will perform the way they are promised, that someone will remember a birthday or anniversary.

Life works as promised. We just expect it.

Lately I've been noticing that when I'm having a bad day emotionally, a lot of it is triggered by expectations gone bad. It doesn't matter what the degree of the expectation, when it does not come as bright and shiny as I'd hoped for, my mood turns as dark as our weather has been lately. Storm clouds blow across my emotional landscape.

It. Has. Not. Been. Pretty.

What's wrong with expecting something positive in the future? What wrong with looking ahead with a sense of joy and adventure? Nothing. As long as I am looking ahead, but working toward that positive thing in the present. As long as I do not invest a greater sense of importance in THAT thing at the expense of THIS moment.

The problem with expectations is that they keeps me from living in the present. I don't enjoy the sunshine and light breeze today because I'm dealing with my expectations about a project I'll be working on next week.

I hold this moment hostage to the future. When that future becomes the present and it disappoints, what do I have to fall back upon? Nothing.

So I'm back to trying to concentrate on this moment. Then this moment. Then taking a breathe and concentrating on this moment. And trusting that the great shiny thing that is in my future will arrive in due time.

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

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