Where are your expectations set?

Expectations are interesting things. You can set expectations high. You can keep expectations low. From time to time, you may not have any at all.

I find that my views on expectations tend to be in contradiction to my overall views on life.

More often than not, I calibrate my expectations dial to a medium to low setting, and therein lies the contradiction.

I pride myself a very optimistic person. I’m generally pleasant, but when it comes to setting expectations, I have a hard time getting it up – the expectation, that is.

Half-full attitude with half-empty expectations

It’s not that I always expect the worst outcome in a situation; it’s just that tends to be my baseline.

If the outcome is favorable and exceptional, wonderful! Things are better than I expected, and I’m therefore happy.

If the outcome is poor or just so-so, wonderful! Things are just as I thought they would be so – again – I’m happy — and not surprised (and thanks to being mentally conditioned for an outcome in the toilet, I’m better prepared to respond).

The old adage goes, hope for the best yet plan for the worst.  Me? I tend to hope for the just O.K. and build from there.

Sadly, I think this is a factor of my advancing middle age as my view of the world metastasizes from optimistic to realistic.

Influenced by the experience and hindsight that comes from travelling around the block more than a few times, it’s hard to set expectations too much above medium.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a negative person. I think I just like to gird my loins in preparation for any and all worst case scenarios.

If life’s knee to the groin is off an inch or two, great! I’m happy, but if that crotch shot comes in straight for the jewels, I’m braced and ready thanks to my expectations being set accordingly.

That’s my challenge and a question for which I’m seeking an answer. Can someone live hoping for sunny skies, but clutching an umbrella at the same time?

We’ll return to our regularly scheduled, lighter, less philosophical fare next week.


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