The Recovering Farmer

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Great Expectations

Life provides us with all sorts of different twists and turns. Often times they make sense. Often times we enjoy what life has to offer. Then there are times when what we get is not what we had hoped for, not what we wanted and certainly not what we had expected. It can be that certain experiences have caught up to us and are creating major stress. It may be issues at work. It can be a simple thing like expecting a good night’s sleep. Yeah, right. Not going to happen. That wonderful thing called anxiety keeps rearing its ugly head. At the most unexpected and inopportune times.

Why is it that a dream of a hydro line with advertisements on it creates an anxiety attack? I have no idea. There is probably potential there for some money. The dream last night was about a hydro line I used to live close to. The two pole variety. Between the poles was a clear Plexiglas window with logos on them. The one I remember was a John Deere logo. It looked good. I think there may be potential there. But instead I woke up in a sweat with an anxiety attack. All I had was to ask the question, WHY.

There are other expectations we have. Whether health, financial wellbeing, relational, or job stuff, to name but a few, we expect certain things and, in most cases, deserve certain things. Perhaps our expectations are not realistic. Like buying a lottery ticket and having spent the 50 million before the draw actually happens. Give me a break. It felt good for a while till I realized that the draw had happened and there were not any winners. Okay, have to rejig this one.

Regardless of what the circumstances are we do have certain wants and wishes. At certain junctures those wants and wishes become expectations. Then when circumstances change we become stressed out. We are disappointed. We wished for something else. We become anxious. And in some cases we become despondent and feel overwhelmed and hopeless.

We even at times have expectations that something bad will happen. I always expect pain when I go to the dentist. There is the needle. The gauze they stick between your gums and your cheek that makes me gag. The drilling. And when the freezing finally leaves. Sorry. I digress. But we do often times allow ourselves great anxiety by expecting something bad to happen.

Whether for ourselves or our kids, and even grandkids, we wish for a life that is filled with happiness, contentment and satisfaction. The reality of life is that we will face challenges, we will face hurdles, we will at times be brought to our knees in sheer anguish. How we recover from that becomes the challenge.

Remember? “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” Our state of mind can easily influence our expectations. From the extreme positive, as in my winning the lottery, to the extreme negative, as in me thinking I will probably die in the dentist chair. I often find I can trace back these expectations to what my stress levels have been on any given day. So it is important that we build healthy coping strategies. So we can keep on living in spite of stress, misfortune or change. So that we have more “great” expectations and fewer unrealistic or negative expectations. As the saying goes; “The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon but that we wait so long to begin it.” Make it a good one.

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