Archive for the ‘desires and needs’ Tag

Welcome to the Land of Expectations   Leave a comment

Would that I could escape from the endless trips I take to the land of expectations.  Even if you haven’t read Norton Juster’s book The Phantom Tollbooth, and don’t know what this quote refers to, you may be able to guess what this blog post is about.

I have known for many years now that I have a tendency to have specific and high expectations of myself, others, and reality.

I have “learned” this through painful experience, over the years, and because of that I have chosen to maintain realistic expectations of events and people, so that I will not have to go through the cycle of joyous anticipation, ending in heartfelt disappointment, and repeating endlessly.

A basic example would be the expectations I had as a child of what Christmas Day would deliver.  Sure it was wonderful to feel the anticipation, see the beautiful Christmas tree lights, and get presents, but some situation always reared up to spoil the supposed/proposed expectation I had of having a beautiful, wonderful, almighty perfect day. (Like for example the reality that the day would come to an end….)

So — I’m not that 8-year-old child any more and I know better than to have ridiculous expectations!

It follows that I should not have any problems feeling disappointed when things don’t work out….the way I thought they would…wait a minute, I have basically just admitted that I still have expectations, every single day of my life.

As much as I don’t want to have them, because I don’t like feeling disappointed, I can’t seem to eliminate this variable.

I suppose at some level it is impossible to have no expectations, because the fact that I go to the grocery store with list in hand means I expect to be cooking for and feeding my family for another two weeks.

I pay the mortgage and electric bills for this month because I fully expect to be living in the house and needing its shelter for the next month.

I sit down with a new library book because I fully expect to enjoy reading it.

I call a friend because I expect to enjoy our conversation.

Maybe it’s not expectations per se that are my problem, maybe it’s just unrealistic expectations.  Hmmm.

Didn’t think I still had the problem but guess I do…..thought last school year would obviously be easier, how could it not be, as I only have two instead of three students.  Nope, didn’t pan out that way.  Thought that summer vacation would feel like a vacation all the time, but has not happened yet.  Had hoped to go on a camping trip west this year, or somewhere, but, nope, that is not going to happen.

I am an adult and can cope with changes in my personal plans or wishes. (Repeat to self as needed.)

I’m not broken up about these things, but I do find that my adjustment to my current reality is not as smooth as I would like.


Posted June 20, 2014 by swanatbagend in reality

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The Bottomless Pit   Leave a comment

It doesn’t matter how hard I try, so far, nothing has ever managed to fill it up.

Oh sure, it can be temporarily satisfied.  I can think I’ve figured out the perfect method to keep it filled, I can think that I’ve arrived at a perfect nexus in which every circumstance is exactly as it should be, but then some time passes, and I’m back to needing to shovel stuff in as fast as I possibly can.

And what is that stuff?

Any number of things can get shoveled into the pit.

The ones I’ve used in the past have been these:

Personal achievement

Food and cooking

Fame, success and adulation

Buying stuff and creating the perfect pleasant home environment for myself

Self worth generated by doing something nice for someone else

Making things go my way

Friendships, relationships, intimacy

Really it’s even an intimacy addiction, because it does not matter how hard I work, or how much time I get with friends, new friends, old friends, good friends.  I could spend an entire week with girlfriends doing nothing but talking and doing fun things together, and I would be fine for a few days after I got home.  But that is about how long the bottomless pit would stay full.

It just won’t stay full.  It always wants more.

I don’t know why this still surprises me; it’s not as if I wasn’t warned.

Truly, all these good gifts of life, my home, my family, my service, my accomplishments, the friendships I’ve been so blessed to enjoy over the years, these gifts are good gifts.  They are worth wanting.

But they cannot satisfy.

It’s not the gifts I’m looking for, it’s the giver of those gifts.  Nothing I enjoy in this world was ever meant to be the full reward.  Good as these things are, they are fleeting.  They aren’t eternal, they don’t remain.  Why is it that as a 17-year-old I could look ahead and think about what my dreams and plans were for life, and think that somehow God was just a pleasant hobby to take along with me, that his love was only a part of the full package that I just somehow deserved to get?

No, no, and no; I really did have it all wrong.

This bottomless pit can only be filled in one way.  Thank God that we are not just stumbling around down here on our own.  He loves us and is winning us back to himself.  He is ready and willing, on top of all the good gifts he gives us, to fill us with himself so we won’t be alone any more.


Posted May 18, 2014 by swanatbagend in reality

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