Great Expectations.

What did you expect to read about, when you saw the title, and image? A review, or essay on the Dickens novel? Perhaps you were attracted by the steampunk image, and thought, this might be a great article on the genre. Whatever you were thinking, the truth is much simpler.

Expectations. We all have them, and more often than not, they result in disappointment. Whether we are wishing for a certain gift from Santa, a raise at work, or a commitment from a significant other, our pie in the sky dreams, are often dashed against the cliffs of reality, when the moment of truth arrives.

So what is the best way to avoid this let down?

You already know the answer.

Lower your expectations.

It may sound harsh, but If you have realistic expectations, you will reduce your risk of being disappointed.

Santa may not be able to afford that iPhone, your company may not have the funds to give everyone a raise, and your boyfriend, or girlfriend, may not be ready for the kind of commitment you seek. What you may get is a nice Samsung phone, a reduction in health care costs, and a beautiful necklace. Be thankful, and appreciative.

If you are constantly in a state of disappointment, you need to look inward. What do you want? Why do you want it? Can you live without it?

Expecting too much from people can cause many problems in relationships. What we think people should do, and what they wind up doing, can be very different. This is why, if you do have some expectations, you should talk about them. Get on the same page, agree to close the book, or compromise.

In cases where there is an expectation of results, and we in the chronic illness community are constantly running into this, you may be hoping that a new product will ease your symptoms, or a new doctor will have all of the answers. We know how this goes. Unfortunately it usually winds up costing us money that we don’t have, or sending us into a pit of despair. Don’t let it. Take a deep breath, and move on. I often look back on prior events to remind myself, that it is better to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Try the new product, and see that doctor, but do not invest your emotions, and always give things time to work.

Don’t forget to be aware of the expectations of others as well. Although you may think they know what your limitations are, and that you are not always able to participate in social gatherings, it is always best to contact them if your plans change, or you are unable to attend an event. A simple 5 minute phone call can allay fears, and make others more comfortable.

I’m not always good at this, and I am sure, most of us when able, go out and socialize, even though we know we’ll pay dearly for it the next day. Don’t do it, if you can help it. The trip to the store, or to a holiday party, is not all that important, when compared to your health.

So, with the holidays in full swing, remember to just go with the flow. Be realistic, and keep your expectations in check. The post-holiday doldrums may not be avoidable, but you can lessen the effects, by taking it easy, caring for yourself, and keeping the lines of communication with your loved ones, open.


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