Fostering

Expectations

Blessed is he who expects nothing,

for he shall never be disappointed.

Alexander Pope

This was a week of unmet expectations. Maybe you’ve been there.

The planned vacation is almost ruined by the weather.

The anticipated meeting goes a direction you didn’t see coming.

The carefully saved money has to cover a repair.

The well thought out conversation implodes.

When the expected doesn’t happen… what do you do?

I am not good at surprises. I like to have time to prepare for what is next and when that doesn’t happen it is hard for me to change gears. Even pleasant surprises throw me, and I am often embarrassed at my reactions. But the harder things are the disappointments that come when you’ve had no time to prepare yourself for them.

There were 2 meetings this week that I thought I was prepared for the outcome. Neither meeting was what I expected. The first involved the other mother. We knew this meeting was coming and I anticipated certain things so I would be prepared to react in a positive way. The actual information shared at the meeting blindsided me and I had to watch as a child cried… there was nothing I could do. I discovered that watching someone young and vulnerable have their expectations shattered is much harder than facing your own disappointments.

This week it is hard to love the other mother and believe the best of her.

She too, however, has been hit with a series of events that have not met her expectations. So I choose to extend grace and hope that she can act in a way that shows love and concern for her kids again soon.

The second meeting was a minor addition to a growing sense of things being out of my control. I had saw a way forward for the fall… it seemed logical and easy and I thought it would just naturally go that way. It didn’t. I am back to searching for a solution. Major for me, minor in the grand scheme of things.

Top that off by arriving home for the third meeting of the day to a kitchen that looked like a bomb went off and the three people in the house all busy doing their own thing, having made the mess and left it… while the person I was meeting sat at my kitchen table alone waiting for me…

Let’s just say I got through all my meetings successfully and looked like a calm rational human being. Until an innocent question from hubby later. That started the overflow of emotion. That I’m not proud of.

None of it was a big deal. It was all simply unmet expectations. I expected to hear one kind of information and heard another. I expected to be given an opportunity and I wasn’t. I expected to come home to a clean kitchen and I didn’t.

Where do expectations have a tendency to derail you?

How do we choose to hope and continue to expect the best from people, and yet live in grace in the disappointments? I don’t agree with the quote from Alexander Pope. I don’t think we are blessed if we expect nothing. I think we are more than able to meet disappointments head on and look ahead to something better. I choose to! And I will tackle the challenge of helping the kids whom I care for see that it’s OK to be disappointed, but we don’t give up. We grieve the loss and we choose to continue. There is a hope and future no matter what comes our way.

I’m looking forward to it!

In the midst of the mess

Marny

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