Expectations – Theme Fridays

The discontent of my expectations – I do it without realizing it. Expect things. From myself. From others. Usually they are unfair or unrealistic. It makes me wonder where it all starts – these troublemakers, the expectations.

Was I born with them? Are they are part of my genetic make-up? Part and parcel of being a woman? Or do they not discriminate based on gender? And really, what is their purpose? Reassurance, a mere desire to know the future, to keep me or others in line? No, none of that sounds right, rings true.

I’m sure a head doctor would have a field day with this whole concept – we are preconditioned by society, politicians, the ozone, blah, blah, to set up expectations so that we can prove to ourselves that life means nothing. Or some such. I don’t think that’s true either.

Perhaps it is just one of the many elements of life that works its way into our daily cinema. We can after all, expect that the sun will rise in the morning and set in the evening. That dogs will bark at mailmen. That babies will cry and coo. That if you plant a seed and water it, something will grow. That time passes whether we want it to or not. So then if we can expect these things, why not others?

I think we get into trouble when it comes to other people and ourselves. The human animal, ever a mystery will never respond in the way that you want it to or believe it should. Or more precisely it is the spirit housed in that bag of bones, skin, sinew, flesh and fluids. No matter what anyone thinks or says I do not believe you can own a spirit – of another or yourself. Like a magical mixed up chemistry project, the spirit is both benign and volatile and there is no way to predict which it will be and when it will be. Yet, crazy, unrealistic and ever hopeful spirit that I am, I persist. I think if I can only get the right view of it all, it will make sense and I will understand. I cannot help it, this is the permanent quest of my life – to understand. Myself and others.

And just when I think I may have a bead on it, a sense of something, those assinine expectations sneak in – laying a false foundation and I crash through the floors to the basement or find myself up the fucking chimney. Leaving me to vow never to expect anything ever again. If I could keep that promise, life might be simpler.

Go see what Jess is expecting and then what Christine is expecting – I’m sure it will be worth the trip.

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15 thoughts on “Expectations – Theme Fridays

  1. We don’t *know* if the sun will rise each day, we can only expect it to based on a lifetime of sunrises. Expectations are natural and necessary – the trick is managing them.

    Don’t ask me how, I’m still working on that one… 😉

    LOL – now don’t get all nit-picky on me, Alex. And there you go being all philosophic without any included tips and tricks. 😉 Managing them – mine don’t like to be managed – I’ve given up trying.

    Annie

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  2. Very interesting. Personally, what I have learned about expectations came by way of one of those sucky life lessons. The bottom line is that I cannot control/expect something, from someone else- I can only control my own actions. I expect nothing *most of the time* and when something good happens, I’m happy as a clam.

    And who am I to expect something from someone else anyway? I have learned to “do” from a good place in my heart and not keep track- go tit for tat because it only lends complete disappointment when the other person does not deliver. I guess I’m not talking about sunsets here, more of what to expect from another person.

    But, this is just where I have evolved to these days- I’m sure I have more learning on this subject ….

    Oh, and btw.. to the retard that is stalking your site- I left this comment because this post is thought provoking, written by a beautiful human being with a heart of gold. I’m sure WC didn’t “expect” to get this comment, nor do I “expect” her to come and comment on my blog now. I’m here because I want to be. Get over yourself!

    Hey Little Bella!
    I think I am more in the place you are with this – perhaps not as easygoing about it though.

    As to the retard, methinks he is presently back under the rock from whence he came. Maybe you guys have scared him, eh? It’s too bad too, because I think Mikey and the boys were really looking forward to that boat trip.

    And thanks so much for the nice things you say – back atcha, sweetie.

    Annie

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  3. I have learned to change my perspective on this from ‘what I expect from others’ to ‘what I accept from others’. Subtle difference yet huge. The first implies being able to change someone (which you pointed out you can’t) to having a choice over which type of people, and their particular behaviours, I will expose myself to.

    Hey Panther,
    You know that is a very good point – I wish I was as together as you are. I think I want to be you when I grow up. 🙂
    Annie

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  4. Hi Annie,

    Yes very thought provoking. I think for me its a huge expectation I’m asking off my self to have no expectations.

    I manage quiet well with very little expecations depending on what day it is and what my expectations are from myslef on that particular day.

    I think its quiet nice to have expectations of yourself and others and to cherish them. They come in all different forms don’t they.

    Yes to accept and not to expect. Urmm !!! Shit I’m only human tho.

    ~~~~ Like a magical mixed up chemistry project, the spirit is both benign and volatile and there is no way to predict which it will be and when it will be. Yet, crazy, unrealistic and ever hopeful spirit that I am, I persist ~~~~

    I loved those words thank you
    Di

    No, thank you, Di – for always being so kind and so real in your comments. It makes me smile. I’m glad you liked the post, dear.
    Love
    Annie

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  5. ah, very contemplative mood today?

    I like the panther’s EXPECT to ACCEPT swap…

    Hey C!
    Yup, you caught me pondering – I try not to do it too often though. 😉
    Annie

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  6. This whole “Expectations” series was great. You each have your own take on expectations. I have come down to the simplest of expectations. I don’t expect anything of anyone and as far as my own expectations, I expect to do the best I can and that’s it.

    Hey Joanie,
    Sounds like you have it all sorted out. As it turns out this was a tough prompt for me – but you do what you can. Though I will say that I try not to expect too much – these days. Much less than when I was young, stupid and idealistic – so maybe I’m getting there, eh?

    Love
    Annie

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  7. “or find myself up the fucking chimney”
    I want to coin this, mint it, and use it as my own personal currency.
    I love this, A…a little pop of angst in the midst of a philisophical piece.
    Again, well done my dear.

    Hey mJ, feel free – just make sure I get a free t-shirt. And dang that angst snuck in there when I wasn’t looking, eh? Leave it to you to find it. 😉 Thanks honey.

    Annie

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  8. The shrink said one reason I was unhappy in my first marriage was too many “expectations.” I’ve struggled ever since to keep them in check, to hope or anticipate, rather than expect. Panther maybe has the best approach — accept. It sounds more tranquil, more like living in the present.

    Well I have a friend who says – what will be will be and though she isn’t the originator of that saying it is true nonetheless. For myself, I just try to accept what is – you know? It is what is no matter what you do or think it is not going to be anything other than what it is. So maybe I do know how to do that accepting thing too? A little maybe.

    Annie

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  9. Yes expectations invite disappointment don’t they Amum. Thet create dissapointment but how we can we not em !

    How could we never have no expecatitions ? I don’t think I can ever be that wholesome and that undemanding. I try.

    Annie – Should we try and clone ourselves on the Panter,We might even get a boyfriend. hehe!!

    Expectations & Love
    Di.

    I’m just going to accept expecatations.Smiling. I expect to get a boyfriend pretty fxxking soon -before I’m 50 anyway.

    LOL Di – yes, let’s do clone ourselves from Panther. I’m sure she’ll appreciate having a couple of twins who could maybe pinch hit for her from time to time. 😆
    Love,
    Annie

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  10. Expectations? Made me start thinking. Environment or genetics? Probably both. On a lighter side (or maybe not). I seem to let myself down EXPECTING drivers on the road to do what I think they should do.

    LOL, LS – expecting things from other drivers may be dangerous to your health.
    WC

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  11. Expectations: I try to keep mine realistic, but that doesn’t always work. Great essay, Annie. I enjoyed reading it.

    Hey Mrs. V!
    I think they are hard to keep realistic – don’t you? Sometimes I also think that reality is what we make it, so who is to say anything is unrealistic? Know what I mean?

    Annie

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  12. Annie, what a mind reader, I’ve been rolling around in the dust with thoughts of revenge
    against a friend who sorely fell short of
    my expectations.

    Expectations will deliver some of the hardest smack-downs in life, however, there are those
    brilliant occasions when our expectations will
    french kiss us to rival our first love.

    From expecting someone you’ve given money to
    repeatedly, to say thank you, to expecting a friend to arrive on time for an outing, it
    all seems to be a colossal throw of the dice.

    As humans I suspect we will allways have expectations, expectations are the first cousin
    to hope so we are stuck with them, much like
    I’m stuck with Cousin Junior.

    You are so right more often than not we cannot control our spirit much less another’s like love when she sneaks up on us we have a choice to A.go
    gracefully with the flow , B. rant and rave or
    C. run and hide, and now D. blog.

    Once again Annie, you’ve introduced a subject
    that bears examination and once again you have
    written intelligently with your wonderful touch
    of humor, and a willingness to put your own
    feelings out here in blogsphere for you eager
    readers to feast upon.

    What a wonderful comment, Jade – and how insightful you are on the topic. Good points all and lol, yes, just like cousin junior, we may be stuck with them. But then again, they do make good fodder for writing material, don’t they? LOL – what would we write about if we were just happy all the time? 😆 Although, I wouldn’t mind finding that out, would you?
    Love
    Annie

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  13. Good post. I really like Urban Panther’s comment about changing from “what I expect from others” to “what I accept from others.” I like this because, although I’ve really lowered my expectations, they still are often not met, which is really annoying. 😛

    Oh Gawd, Dube, when we lower our standards and they still can’t be met, it gives one pause, doesn’t it? 😆 Oh well, I guess the bar can be placed on the floor if need be, eh?
    Annie

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  14. Hi Annie, I had an experience with a friend recently which your post reminded me of. We had a disagreement and while that was minor, her behavior hurt me. Much as I wanted to be angry in the end I was mostly angry with myself because I had expected too much… but then isn’t having expectations part of what makes us who we are? If we didn’t have the experience of being disappointed, would we still enjoy our achievements later on?

    I think expectations are the flip side of having dreams; if we don’t set ourselves a goal we never push ourselves to improve and be better than we are. Every time I start a new work I expect it to be better than the last and when it isn’t I’m disappointed, but if I didn’t have those expectations then I’d have no reason to write. Likewise without the disappointments and expectations of dating, I wouldn’t be able recognize the right partner when they came along.

    Of course that doesn’t make it any easier when your expectations are let down. But perhaps it helps you to get back up and do it again… in the end it’s a balance really, isn’t it? Trying to find a balance between what we realistically expect of ourselves and other people. I like what Urban Panther said, to be more accepting instead. I think I’ll try that.

    Hey CJ!
    Wow, it’s been a long time. How are you?

    As to expectations – yes, they kill us or make us stronger, I’m not sure which. I wonder though if it’s more about responsibility, you know? Like, if one could actually adopt the view that they are entirely responsible for whatever happens in their lives maybe the expectations wouldn’t have to be there. I realize it wouldn’t be an easy thing to do but it’s something to think about.

    Good to see you again. Are you writing again?

    Annie

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