Friday, August 13, 2010


I had an interesting chat last night with someone I hadn't chatted with for awhile. And most of it came off as whining. Though I think she felt I was in desperate need of sleep too (and I wouldn't argue with that). But I got to thinking about what exactly it was that I was whining about. And it all came down to expectations. My expectations. And how they just haven't been matching reality. Mind you, sometimes not meeting expectations turns out pretty good. It's not always a bad thing, but just a different thing. But often times it is simply disappointing. Examples:
  • I suppose this last weekend would be a prime example. I expected a much better turnout for the pool party. I talked it up pretty good and expected to write long posts about it and you'd all be sorry you didn't make it. But there were 5 or 6 people that I expected to see there that didn't show. Not including BTE's friends who didn't show. Granted, a couple of them certainly had no control over circumstances. I had a great time, and I'm glad I went, but my expectations were different.
  • I hinted that there could be some exciting news I could relay. My flight was overbooked at LaGuardia, so I volunteered to give my seat away for a $400 ticket voucher and a seat on the next flight to Minneapolis. Well, things got weird as the plane was already late leaving, and the two of us who volunteered ended up getting on the flight, but not in the seats we had expected. But we were rushed to leave our mailing address with the ticket agent, saying "I'll mail them to you." Yesterday, I got a $100 ticket voucher from Delta. Wonderful, but not what I expected (let the trip requests begin!).
  • Prior trips have also not met my expectations. My trip to Nashville in January was fun, but I expected more people to come out, particularly the locals (there seems to be an awful lot of lip service involved with expectations). And the concert we went to wasn't what I expected. And other things did or didn't happen based on my expectations. The Dallas trip in 2007, while incredibly fun, didn't meet expectations either.
  • And since I'm listing expectations--for years I used to expect that HNTers were rather civil, and somewhat "above" the general perving commenters. That expectation was shot down long ago. I expected that lines and boundaries would be understood and respected. Nope.
  • I have had certain expectations of friends, both online and off, and have constantly been disappointed in their questionable decisions and off-beat direction. Sure, I have no say in their lives, but if crashing/burning is an expectation, then many of them have met those...
  • I'm certainly not meeting some of my own expectations either. I've got music I have to write for two different bands by the end of the month (realistically, by the end of next week), and others waiting for me to get it all done. I expected to have most all of it done by now, but I haven't met that. I expected my life to be in a totally different place than it is right now, but that's not going to be met. Not that it's a bad thing, but just different than I expected.
This isn't to say that none of my expectations have been met. Meeting Minority Report on Monday went beyond my expectations. The summer concert in July went beyond expectations. Buying a car was easier than my expectations. There's plenty of others.

I could aim lower with my expectations, or I can either quit having expectations that constantly disappoint me. Or I could continue to keep them high, and revel in the expectations that have been met or exceeded.

I expect I might be able to do that...


Dana said...

Ahhh ... expectations ...

I tend to set mine high for others because I set them high for myself. Like you have experienced recently, I've certainly seen the down side in all of that - and it sucks!

I've found that lowering my expectations does little more than set an even lower bar for people to meet.

I say you continue to keep your expectations high, and revel in those that have been met or exceeded ;)

Provocative Jane said...

Become a woman...and then experience what CONSTANT disappointment is like, baby. :)


John and Ann said...

Write Delta and complain--you gave up your seat for $400 in vouchers and only got $100. You might not get another $300, but a well-written letter will get you something more.

Cheeky Minx said...

Expectations...great or small...are certainly interesting to grapple with. (Perhaps Dickens might help?!)

I understand the feeling of high expectations crashing and burning. But for me it seems to be about the lesson attached to them, about the insight in gives me about myself (rather than an exercise in lower or adjusting them).

(And I agree with John and Ann - complain via a snail mail letter. It's works for me 90% of the time.)

No one Special said...

In a perfect world...
everything would fall into place in front of us.
last time I checked.
reality is a bitch..
we have to work harder for what we need.
even harder for what we want.
And working on other people's time frame and agenda makes it even harder for the outcome to go as visualized.
dont stress..
expect the unexpected..
And plan for changes and disappointments.
that way you wont sweat the little things.
And by all means hold the Airlines accountable!!. After all HOW much extra did they charge you for your baggage?? and everything else??

Summer said...

I had a feeling you were feeling this way. I'm glad you posted this, because sometimes it helps to write it out and let the world (or at least our little world) know.

Here's to hoping the rest of the year at least meets your expectations. :)

Anonymous said...

I sure can relate to this post too.. I think we all grapple with it off and on at times.

Alfie said...

The saying is, "He that expecteth receiveth nothing." You're already doing better than that!

Ms Scarlett said...

What Dana said.... I absolutely agree. Lowering expectations just lowers peoples' effort level. That said, I try not to get too emotionally attached to my expectations... things rarely are what I think or hope they will be... so when they really are, I appreciate it so much more!


Robyn said...

The problem isn't the expectations, it's the way you handle it when they don't turn out like you hoped.

All the shit I've been thru in life has taken me to some really dark levels of sadness and disappointment, and I've had to figure out on my own ways to get myself out of those places, and then not let myself get there again.

You can't look at everything as a failure, you have to learn to look at something that doesn't quite go as well as planned as just another chance to get it even better next time.

The fact that you've enjoyed yourself even during the parties and shows and other events that werent what you expected shows that it was worth it to be there. You still seen friends, and had a great time. Had everyone showed up maybe there wouldn't have been thought of a 2nd gathering, but because you didnt get to see so and so, then you'll want to plan another opportunity.

Something good comes out of everything if you look hard enough.

I ramble.. lol you just said something that i can relate to..

I don't comment as often as I would like to anymore.. but i read (or at least check) every day still..

I consider you one of my dearest friends and trust you 100%, which is saying alot considering we've never met face to face... but i'd trust you with anything because i love you. =) And I hope you know that if you're ever needing to just talk (or whine) or whatevr you need to do to feel better, I'm always here.


Moosekahl said...

I would hound Delta for that voucher and then come to AK to see Kamey and I.

Bette said...

I can't thank you enough for this post. I found your blog thru Dana's & couldn't believe the subject, as my own expectations have been on my mind all morning. You can probably guess, it's those that haven't been met. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Os, you aren't alone. Expectations get the best of us and I think they rarely live up to themselves.

Emmy said...

It's hard to not get emotionally tied to your expectations especially when the possible pay off is exciting or has exciting possibilities.

That being said, I have found this summer to be the summer of let downs. As my husband would say (the good Buddhist that he is), what is the universe trying to tell you? What is the lesson? We've been asking that a lot in our house. :)

PS: COME VISIT ME!! I"M NEAR YOUR SISTER, REMEMBER....sorry, had to throw out my request! ;)

Anonymous said...

ooh! hound delta and send ME to visit moose in alaska. I haven't been home in over twenty years. :D

look for the silver lining midear!

(oh, and i'm in the process of changing blogs/emails again...had an epic fail of a password snafu)

going cerebral

Barefoot Dreamer said...

i hope you got that sleep and I like that you wrote it out. both help.

BTExpress said...

My expectations for the pool party were not met by a long shot. Some supposed friends that were with in spitting distance didn't even show. I was, to say the least, disappointed. But, you know what? We all had a blast and those that blew it off, missed a hell of a time. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciat5e you coming.

bits said...

Well said. Expectations should be constantly evolving but never lowered.