Seasons, Expectations and Reality

Seasons come and seasons go and with each, new challenges and opportunities arise.  My family and I are in a season of transition now, of visiting family and friends and of sleeping on floors, in spare rooms and hopefully, for a few nights at least, under the stars.

Mostly this season of transition has been really good.  After four years in Turkey, it is wonderful to spend time with family, to watch the cousins play for hours on end and to catch up with old friends. It has also been a time to sleep in a bit more, to read my mom’s collection of Outside Magazines and to go to baseball games, the lake or to grandmas for a few hours of conversation.

It hasn’t been a time for growing my fledgling business however.  That’s been on maintenance mode, doing just enough to keep it going and leaving me at times wondering if I should be doing more.

But it’s a season, a season I’m working to embrace and enjoy.  To do that, it seems important to bring my expectations in line with reality.  When expectations are higher than reality allows, the pain of disappointment can be great.

I once saw a demonstration that helped me understand the power of expectations to negatively affect life when they are not in line with reality.  A volunteer was called to the front of our group and a large, three feet in diameter rubber band was placed around him.  The presenter then proceeded to stretch the rubber band away from this now fear filled volunteer.  Letting go of the rubber band would have resulted in quite a painful snap.  “Our expectations,” the instructor explained, “are a lot like the rubber band. The further they are from reality, the more painful the pop is when our expectations are not met.

Not that I’ve thrown expectations out the door, but I have realized that this season will be limited in terms of the amount of time and energy that I’ll be able to focus on my online business and on writing more.

And that’s okay.

It’s okay because this season has a shelf life.  In a few weeks, our time on the road will have ended. We will be settling into the routine of life in South Dakota.  If I can keep that idea in front of me, it allows me to be more present now, to enjoy this time and focus on the relationships that are the gift of this time.  A gift I do not want to miss.

That is my desire.

Have you been able to keep your expectations in line with reality?

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