It’s Fine To Want…Just Don’t Expect
It’s a Saturday morning and I’ve been feeling lazy ever since I woke up. So, instead of doing any work, I made a pot of coffee, grabbed my Victor Stream (blind guy’s audio reading device) and stepped out onto the back porch to finish Melissa Bank’s, “The Wonder Spot.”
All the bad economic news this week has left me in a bit of a tither. Not pulling my hair out yet, but watching the market surge and fall is enough to make anyone want a Maalox I.V. So, with my laziness today, I was excited to get lost in the story of Sophie for a while in “The Wonder Spot.”
Today’s revelation from Sophie was about expectation. Here she is a 30-something working in a dead end advertising job for the last dozen years. She doesn’t love it, it’s just a job to her. She looks around at her boyfriend (a doctor), her brother (a white collar businessman), her best friend (a playwrite) and her co-worker (a born editor). Everyone but her, she feels, has a calling to do what they’re doing. But then she looks around. The guy on the corner selling hot dogs probably never drempt of doing what he’s doing. The people going to their jobs on the subway? Same story. Only some people are lucky enough to be able to answer their calling. Sophie, she knows, is not one of them.
Then, by letting a little of her resentment go, she realizes it’s not wrong to want more-but it is wrong to expect it.
That’s almost a direct quote (but don’t quote me on it since I’m kinda anal about copyright infringement). Here, again: It’s not wrong to want more, but it is wrong to expect it.
I am so, SO lucky in my life. I have a fabulous life all around; family, career, financial security, creature comforts, sense of meaning-I’m just plain lucky. Do I want more? Absolutely! I want to earn enough money to have a thatch hut by the ocean in Bermuda, I want a log cabin in the northwoods of Minnesota, I want a condo in downtown Austin, I want to be able to buy every guitar ever played by Johnny Cash, I want to be able to eat at a fine restaurant every night, then have the dough to pay the plastic surgeon to give me a tummy tuck from excess calorie intake-I just want more!
Yet, if I come to expect more, then it doesn’t happen, I’m left disappointed and unappreciative of what I have. Expectation is just one step away from entitlement-and that is a one way ticket to lifelong disappointment.
Appreciate what you have. Feel free to want more. And do everything you can to get more. But don’t expect it will happen-living in expectation is certain to leave you disappointed if something doesn’t come to fruition.