Great Expectations – Suspended

Synchronicity has a way of creeping into my life almost every day. I was just having a conversation with a friend about expectation management when I received a copy of Parenting magazine. I had been interviewed for a topic about taking your kids (almost) everywhere. When I read the quote, I had to smile. “Letting childless friends know what to expect – frequent interruptions, diaper-changing breaks- will help you relax…” I said.

Managing people’s expectations helps save you time in the long run.

great expectationsMy friend and I talked about how the effects of thwarted intentions (not getting what you want) is most visible in children. She is a riding instructor who works primarily with kids to help them establish a positive relationship with themselves and their environment through horseback riding. I had told her about Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, which she had, dog-eared, on her desk. She had also been integral in my early conversations about our relationship with time for my book, The Power of Slow.

“I’m incorporating the now in my instruction,” she said. Whenever we come to a place with our basket of expectations, we need to first acknowledge we have them. Oftentimes we forget we carry them around like badges. Children are no different.

“This is the way things should be,” they often say.

Red alert when they aren’t.

She pointed out how lonely it can be when we walk about with our thwarted intentions. If we were to suspend those expectations for just a moment, we would see the weighty veil of shoulds lifted.

What a liberating thought, indeed.

1 Comment

  1. slowfamilyliving

    June 7, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I love this thought. I teach sewing classes to kids ages 8-12 and in the beginning I held expectations that couldn’t possibly match the time allotted. We now break each thing down into equally as challenging but smaller tasks – allowing the satisfaction of a job well done to be felt. The expectation of learning and enjoying the process instead of rushing to the finish line is the ultimate end game.

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