Hello hello! I hope you are having a relaxing break! Getting in a massage or two?
Well this week is a massive week in our house. My son finished year 1 and in his words is now a ‘big year 2 boy’ and my daughter is beaming just to have him home to play with for the school holidays.
I could see it in her face, she had so much expectation that Ashton would want to play all the same things she did, and I just know at some point she will be let down just a little when he wants to go build with Lego, and she is just not quite big enough to be included in his master builder projects.
It got me thinking about that word ‘expectations’.
Having expectations of how something with turn out, creates a space for disappointment when things don’t go to plan.
I do this all the time… I expect that my kids will listen, when sometimes they are just too tired and need cuddles. I expect good grades, and sometimes I don’t get (or deserve) them. Christmas time too brings expectations on family. We expect that we will get together and enjoy each others company, buy the perfect gift and Christmas will be the ‘most wonderful time of the year’. Sometimes we get it right and other times we are met with disappointment.
Guess what, being disappointed is ok. It is normal for your expectations not to be met at times. There is nothing wrong with feeling sad about things that were not fulfilled in your life, and over the holidays it is a great time to reflect on your year, and how you wish to move forward into the new year. Set new goals, create a little hope that maybe you could have another go at something you didn’t get right the first time.
I remember a friend saying to me once, if you don’t have any expectations you won’t get disappointed. But really where is the fun in that? Thinking back to my daughter Ella, her little face was beaming that Ashton was home from school on holidays and they would be spending more time together. Now I know it won’t fully go to her plan, but her smiling face, her excitement at spending more time with her brother doing things together, that is beautiful. Why wouldn’t we want to experience that feeling? When she is let down, and comes crying to me needing a hug that ‘Mummy… Ashton doesn’t want to play with me’, I will be there to hug her, and help her feel sad for a bit, then move her on to the next fun thing we can do.
It is a great time of year to talk, to listen to each other and celebrate the wins and losses of the year together. I have had loads this year, lots of wins, and some deep losses… but I am grateful for both experiences. I really am… I have learnt lots and am hopeful to get some of those things I got so wrong this time around, a little more right next year.
Enjoy your holiday celebrations, and remember if it doesn’t go to plan, oh well… we can get it right next time, or even the time after that.
If you need a little help gaining perspective on disappointments… there are lots of services available to help. Check out the links below.
La Trobe Counselling Service – available across campuses and an after hours phone service.
Lifeline – Call 13 11 44
Kids Helpline – 5-25yr olds 1800 55 1800
BeyondBlue.org – a great resource, with links to information on how to seek help for yourself and for others.