Do you ever sit back and look at your life? Is it what you imagined it would be? No judgment, but does it look like what you thought it would look like? Mine is not! What do you do with the expectations that haven't been met?
I remember being a little girl, somewhere around seven or maybe eight years old and talking to my dad about expectations. Well, he was talking to me. I'd get myself all worked up, usually around Christmas or my birthday, about all of the excitement. That would typically turn into disappointment. Nothing ever lived up to my lofty expectations. He started,way back then, to talk to me about the bigger picture. He taught me how to have an open mind and expect the unexpected...and to be grateful. That way, I'd be surprised and certainly NOT disappointed. My expectations used to limit me. If things didn't go exactly as I wanted (even if they were better), I would be disappointed because I didn't get what I wanted.
Who knew that I would use that life lesson at thirty-seven years old? The picture I had in my head of me at this age included a husband, children, and being surrounded by family. None of those things are true. I am single, live over four hundred miles away from the closest family, and I have a dog. There are times when this makes me sad. I feel like I've failed...at the most basic thing: having a family. But, thank God for the lesson my dad taught me. I am grateful for so much in my life: I own my own home (and I did that by myself)!! I have a life filled with friends that love and take care of me. I adopted an abused dog and he has grown and changed so much over the past five years. I LOVE my job and it has taken me further than I ever thought possible. Who would have ever thought that I would teach middle school? I have taught a graduate class at a great university and I continue to further my professional development by applying for my national board certification.
Once upon a time, (ten years ago) I was engaged. That life would have provided the picture that I expected, but I wasn't happy. Still I dream of family, children, love...but just like dad used to tell me, I am so grateful for my life today!