Have you ever considered how grueling and heavy the word ‘Expectations’ can be?  Seriously, we live our lives and define ourselves according to expectations.  Stock prices are determined according to a company’s performance against Wall Street expectations.  The choice of university for a valedictorian is greater and more important than those of Joe ‘Average’ Student because of said expectations.  Don’t get me wrong.  Not all expectations are bad.  I expect I will eventually get to sleep tonight, but that is a completely different blog entry.

My point is we often place too much weight on expectations.  My parents’ expectations of me are what set the parameters in my formative years and lead me to where I am today.  And the problem with expectations is we set ourselves up for failure by placing that bar just a little too high.  We dream impossible dreams, not with the hope of reaching them, but rather with the expectation of getting all we want.  And people wonder why high school kids go straight to the NBA?  Because it’s expected of them, silly.

Dreams, hopes, ambitions, goals and yes ….. expectations.  They’re like alocohol.  Nothing wrong with them per se’, bust should be consumed only in moderation.  The irony is many alcoholics are born as a result of failed dreams and unrealized expectations.  And on that note, please excuse me a second while I pop open another brewskie.

Perhaps it’s a natural check-and-balance mechanism in life.  A cosmic ‘You win some, you lose some’ kinda’ thing.  Success and failure are very similar in that we need both in order to continue trying.  We can’t have one without the other, although we all wish we could do with a little less failure sometimes.  But as Momma always said, “It builds character.”  At least my character is now reaching Sears Tower proportions.  <as an aside, this is two entries in a row in which I have mentioned Sears. Isn’t that weird?>

So as I put a really bad day (emotionally) behind me, I am reminded of a song by Sister Hazel (what a surprise, right?). “On the road to safe/I kinda’ tripped along the way…”  I guess we all trip from time to time, and we shouldn’t focus so much on the fall as we should on the success of getting back up.  I know, it is easier said than done.

PS. Thanks for the e-mail, Sneakie!  Gave me the kick I needed to keep writing.

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