February 1st… it’s the beginning of a new month in a (still) fairly new year…. and it’s also the start my birthday month!
Growing up my parents put tons of time, energy, creativity and planning into our “special day”! There were times when we had “birthday week”… not just one event or one special dinner, because we loved spreading out the celebration. I still remember that feeling of anticipation leading up to that day but at the same time, I remember so vividly the times where the celebration, the party, the friends coming over, the planned activity has to be postponed because of winter-weather. The disappointment I felt in those “tough calls” was so overwhelming. I have never been one to experience emotions on a shallow level. My high’s were high — which means my low’s, my disappointments, were low. The expectations in those planned moments were really high and then when it was dashed — I was devastated! My little social-butterfly-self couldn’t imagine how CHANGE could be a good thing!
As I’ve gotten older – I’ve realized that there are MANY high’s in life… but there are many low’s as well! The expectations I have for myself, for my “things to accomplish”, for my “this is what life is all about”, for the people and relationships in my world… can sometimes be unrealistic. Sometime those expectation and anticipation is the things that causes the most joy but they can be the thing that causes me the deepest pain.
Over the years I’ve learned to have more realistic expectations for things… there are times when high expectations are appropriate but there are times when those things need to be tempered. I’m still “in-process” in learning when and how — but even more, the importance of figuring out how to respond when it didn’t go the way I thought.