Great Expectations


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


We all have them.  High hopes. dreams of the future,  expectations of the people in our lives; goals for work, for personal achievement and satisfaction. Nothing wrong with that–most of the time.

Often, the people I see in my counseling office are there because they’ve  had hopes crushed, dreams denied. Their expectations have not risen to the level they had established, and now they’re depressed, perhaps angry, and they don’t know how to deal with their crushed expectations.



I don’t think I would agree completely with Shakespeare on this statement, but it is often true that our expectations, when not achieved, bring us great heartache.

Take our children, for instance. Every set of expectant parents tends to have THE PERFECT CHILD  in their minds. Their child will personify every dream they’ve ever had. The child will be brilliant, gifted, talented, handsome or beautiful, renowned for the goodness of character, and so on and on.

And then the baby turns out to be just an ordinary person, with all the positives and negatives that contained therein, and the parents are disappointed. Their expectations did not come to fruition. They have an ordinary kids who does pretty well, but makes not marks on history and even gets into trouble now and then.

Should they be disappointed?  I don’t think so.  I think they had piled a lot of unreasonable pressure on this poor baby, and when he didn’t rise to meet their exaggerated expectations, they were disappointed, even feeling the child was deliberately letting them down.  The fault lay in the parents’ unrealistic expectations, not in the child’s lack of brilliance.

But aren’t there things we should expect of our children?  Yes, of course. But the child will not be born with those things in place.  They need to be taught. They need to be lived out in front of the child. They need to be instilled in the child through consistent training and discipline when needed. Parenting is a lot of work, and expectant parents would do well to understand that they are NOT getting ready to produce the next  Wonder of the World. They need to set their expectations on that which is achievable through giving the child the best atmosphere possible as he grows up; they need to set their own expectations at a reasonable, achievable level so that neither they nor the child will feel like failures for the rest of their lives.

And who knows?  Maybe that child WILL become the next Einstein, or Tchaikovsky, or Monet, or DaVinci.  Or maybe she will grow up to marry a man she loves, rear normal children, and find contentment in the ordinary.  Having high hopes is fine; having unreasonably high expectations/demands of someone who hasn’t even been born yet is not fine. It sets up the playing field for conflict, disappointment, and frustration.  As the child grows and develops, she should definitely be encouraged to follow whatever her talents seem to be.

Encouraged, not forced.

Daily Prompt: Great Expectations

(Tell us about one thing (or more) that you promised yourself you’d accomplish by the end of the year. How would you feel once you do? What if you don’t?)

Dickens fan that I am, this prompt caught my attention right away!  I loved teaching Great Expectations to my high school lit classes, introducing them to all the wonderful characters that reflect our own foibles and successes.

So, two things that I promised myself to accomplish:  Get my weight down in order to stay off the Diabetes Type 2 spectrum;   Get busy on that book I’ve been promising to write.

I’m not doing so well on either one.  Excuses abound.  I’ve been sick most of the winter.  I’m just now feeling more like tackling things, since I got the meds I needed for the asthma that’s been keeping me slowed down since January.  Why did I wait so long to see my doctor?  Long story, short version:  Last September, when Terry retired, we both applied for Medicare Part B.  He got his, I did not. It took until last month to get that ball of twine untangled.  Working with the 800-number Social Security folks is a real test of one’s patience.  I must have gotten a dozen different answers from a dozen different people.  Finally went back to the SS office where we applied and was blessed to get a woman who’d been working there for 40 years.  She got me my Medicare in less than two weeks. I will be forever grateful to Mrs. Clark!

Anyway, went to see my doc. Of course she treated the asthma, but she also noticed the creeping weight gain.  Lab work shows my A1C to be around 8.2, highest it’s ever been.  I’d never hit 7 before.  She wants me to start taking Metphorin, but assured me that if I get back on track with exercise and trimming the weight, I can probably go off the meds.  I’ve always managed to control it before now, and I can do it again.  Get that A1C under 6, that’s my new goal.  Starting now.

The book?  Well, I AM still working!  Excuse #1, lack of time.  Excuse #2, lack of energy. Excuse #3, hard to get big blocks of uninterrupted time now that my dearly beloved is home most of the time.  Excuse #4, and the real truth?  I’m scared to death!  What if I go to all that work, and no one wants it?  What if I get rejected? 

Can you believe that at nearly 67 years of age, I still worry about rejection!  Good grief.

So there you have it.  Health and writing. How will I feel if I accomplish my goals?  Oh my, euphoric!  And if I don’t?  Well–pretty much the way I feel right now.

Fat, diabetic, and still making excuses.

Because I don’t want to end on such a negative note, I need to say here that I understand what I need to do.  I know how to do it. The problem is tapping in to that fire in the belly that motivates me to get it done.