Expectations are a Tricky Thing


Your expectations color your perspective on things. So let's take an inventory of our December expectations. I expect to spend more money than I want to. I expect to receive some gifts. I expect to eat and drink a lot. I have to close the books. Show my face. Bring a gift. Catch a flight. Make a dish... We also have general expectations that aren't as personal. We expect adults to know what they are doing. We expect our teachers to educate us, our bosses will lead us to success, our kids to outlive us. We expect the world to be fair.

Author Langston Hughes said it best, "Well, son, I tell you, life for me ain't been no crystal stair." (Mother to Son by Langston Hughes)

My brother was admitted to the hospital this week. Whenever a loved one goes into the hospital, it's a little scary. He's been in a lot of pain, and I'm relieved to say he is out. When a sibling gets ill, it makes you reflect on your own health and mortality. I mean, we're siblings, peers. We are in the same generation, have the same parents, and grew up in the same environment, so what's up? It made me think about expectations and how we approach life.

It really doesn't matter who you grew up with. We all have individualized experiences. We eat, exercise and live differently. One may have a desk job while the other is an athlete. One moved to a climate without pollution, and someone else lives near a city waste station. All of these things impact our lives, so it's up to us to look our expectations square in the face… and then let them go.

Replace those rote expectations with intentions. Don't just expect to be healthy. Set an intention to BE healthy. It doesn't happen overnight, and sometimes stuff just happens. A bulging disk, the heart inexplicably succumbs to cardiac arrest, or maybe a car accident leaves one paralyzed. No one can expect these things, and yet they happen. I have seen it first-hand. We should expect health and vitality. We should live our lives as such. And if another script is written, it is not because we did anything wrong. It's not necessarily in retribution for some past sin. It just is, and so we must roll with the punches.

If you hold on to expectations and judgments, you set yourself up for a life full of suffering. When life isn't going as expected, adjust. Reevaluate, don't dwell on the negative. No, life isn't fair. But all and all, it's still great. It is a dance and sometimes your toes will get stepped on, and no one asks you your favorite song. Dance anyway. Dance alone or in the rain. Who is to stop you? Make your way despite the detours. Be renewed and transform.

Your best life starts with how you relate to your expectations. When Life sends you rocks, go rock climbing. Expand your thinking and choose how you respond to circumstances. Actively choose. Choose to find, The health. The love. The joy.

And remember, please, please PLEASE Eat Responsibly. :)

Happy Holidays people!

UGottaEat…so eat mindfully.