Thursday, May 8, 2008

Expectations

Today is my little sister's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, L - not like the 90 minute conversation didn't convey that message, lol).

Back to the point, my dad - completely out of form sent her a nice gift, complete with handwritten card and follow-up call. The man doesn't even usually acknowledge our birthdays, let alone personalize with a card. It's just not his way.

And I know this. Thus, I've learned to expect very little from him and when he does deliver, I'm pleased beyond measure.

There's a lesson here, I can feel it. It's right on the tip of my tongue...

Would I be more happy with what I receive on a regular basis from those that I expect to deliver...like DH, my siblings, friends, my mother - if I lowered my expectations entirely?

I need to think about it. I heard long ago this saying and it's never left me:

"Un-met expectations are always the cause of disappointment."

In all of the time I've had to test this theory, I've found it to be 100% true.

3 backward glances:

Steve said...

As far as I'm concerned, you don't get points for exceeding expectations if the expectations are low. Our current president was elected because he managed to lower everyone's expectations so far that he couldn't possible fail to exceed them. Not what I'd consider praise worthy.

Put another way, I try to be most forgiving of those people in my life for whom my expectations are high. These are the people who have delivered over and over for me to the point where I may have begun to take it for granted.

I guess what I'm getting at is, great for your dad, but what he's done should really only highlight how awesome everyone else is. Your dad doesn't deserve a trophy for #1 Dad just because he figured it out once.

Amy said...

i agree with you Steve. I think I said it a little backward because although I should be pleased he's making an effort, what I should be doing is being even more pleased with the others in my life who do care enough to put in more effort. I'm talking about perspective and I'm glad you got to the crux of it so succinctly. thanks!

Joy said...

I like it more when people do things for me or give me things out of the blue. Not that I don't appreciate things during special occasions, but it stands out more if the good thing translates to something out of that context. Does that make sense?

As for your dad, I know some people aren't really that good at remember people or making people feel special. But when they do, maybe let them know that it's a good thing to encourage them to do it more, and let them know that their effort is appreciated. That's all. I'm not saying give them an award, but let them know they're doing something good when they are.

I usually don't have any expectations for my birthday, or special occasions, from anyone and I don't think I ever had since I was past my teenage years. It's made my life a lot easier and lighter. I don't try to make other people guilty if they forgot, either. I give them the benefit of the doubt. [Dang, I sound too nice. lol.]