Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When Reality Gives Expectations a Kick in the Butt

Green Dragonfly
Originally uploaded by magscrafts
This morning as I was driving, a giant dragonfly hovered over my windshield. In that moment, the dragonfly came to embody an idea I was having for a blog post about dreamy expectations, and how often reality comes to whack them down. In popular culture, we see many images of light, flittering dragonflies that are cute, and we hold onto that image. Then what more closely resembles a turd with wings runs into your windshield at 60 miles an hour and you are sucked back to reality.

This happens many times in day to day life. Many times when planning outings with my family, I envision this ideal family who all happily get along and enjoy the excursion. Then before we leave our home parking lot, the kids are arguing in the back seat, the heat index goes over 100 degrees and traffic is already plotting to hinder our path.

In business, sometimes we come up with a product or plan that we thing will really take off, ignoring the reality that these things often take a ton of work.

In crafting, we come up with a design, find the perfect materials, figure out our plan of action, then nothing goes as smoothly as we think, and the item we make is not quite the beauty we envisioned.

Since it is difficult for me to manage reality, I have come to the conclusion I need to manage my own expectations. This idea came to me while I was picking tiny balls of chewing gum out of entire load of wet laundry. It is not realistic of me to expect a 20 year old guy to be either thoughtful to his mother or focused on emptying his pockets, and it is not fair of me to have those expectations, and holding on to them will only lead to disappointment.

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