Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Expectations

Anger always comes from frustrated expectations.

- Elliott Larson

Expectations, I've come to realize, are one of the main reasons for disappointment in my life. It is because of expectations that I plan on things happening a certain way. It goes back to that control thing - I plan for things to happen a certain way with the expectation that the result will turn a certain way as well.

This doesn't usually work out. I can almost, without doubt, know that, if I expect a certain outcome, I will get the opposite. And, still, I expect things to work the way I want them. It makes no sense whatsoever that, after years of being disappointed and repeatedly being shown that life does not work out the way I plan, I still maintain expectations.

I expected to, at 32 years of age, have a career and a home of my own. I expected to be a mother. I expected to be happier with where I am. I expected to have savings and a will. I expected not to be living next door to my parents.

One could say that the lack of these expectations coming to fruition was the sign of poor planning, but I think we've already established that I am an epic planner. My plans just don't usually go to plan! Something intervenes to change the path I had weaved. My life generally decides to go off on a path and stop to smell flowers, then when it gets ready to move on - well, lo and behold, the group has moved on and my life is left behind with no clear sign of where it needs to be headed.

As someone who does need iron control of her life, I find this aspect of my life very frustrating! Why should my expectations be so difficult to achieve? Is it, perhaps, that I expect too much? Or is it just that life doesn't work to anyone's expectations?

What are your expectations? Do you find that they usually happen the way you hope? Or are you, like me, left a little blindsighted wondering where your life took a turn and left you behind?

I hope you all aren't minding that I'm asking questions in my post. I'm really finding this whole A to Z Blogging Challenge very therapeutic and I'm enjoying getting feedback. Your comments are making my days!


Kristin said...

I try not to have too many expectations, and I don't mean that in a pessimistic kind of way. I just try to go into situations with an open mind and hope for the best. Obviously this can't always be the case, but I try :)

dannifoley said...

I like to have control too, but sort of follow the saying, "Expect the worst but hope for the best" because you never know what's going to happen.

The worst is when I go on a job interview and they ask where I see myself in five years, and I always answer, "I have no idea. If you asked me that question 5 years ago it would have been something along the lines of 'in grad school' or something. But life throws you curve balls, different problems arise that can drastically change your plans. I wish I had a proper answer, but that's the best I've got."

Jan Morrison said...

I try to keep it to expectations of myself. Especially with a couple of teens around. Just makes like a little less unhappy for me. My expectations for myself? Enjoy this moment, it is the only one we can be sure of.
Jan Morrison - come on by to see my 'E' word and visit!

junebug said...

I have a ton of expectations. They almost never happen the way I want but since I expected that they wouldn't work out I guess I am almost always right. :-)

Rebecca Bradley said...

I think sometimes we can be looking so hard for something, we miss it.

I don't tend to have expectations. I have dreams, but I don't expect them to happen. I will try my best to achieve what I want but it's not an expectation.

Relax, enjoy the things you do have and maybe when you aren't looking, one of those things may well just knock on your door :)

Jeanne said...

I don't have a lot of expectations for myself. I feel that I am a happy person and have accomplished a lot. I wish I had started writing earlier. I was in my 50s when I actually started writing to publish. I probably should have a few more expectations than I do but I just want to be happy and do good things for people. Every thing else is just extra.

Laura M. Campbell said...

I've cut back on my expectations. Well, at least make them a bit looser so I can achieve them easier. And for all those societal expectations placed on us, not by us, I tell them to take a long walk off a short pier. I'm redefining my life to fit what makes me happy, not what I should have by a certain age. Good luck with the challenge!

Wonder Woman said...

I don't really solidify expectations. I have hopes. And sometimes fears. But i never really expect a particular outcome. Iguess that's because i understand the same principle that you stated...expectations can lead to big let downs.

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