One of my favorite things about being a mom are the things that my kids (both middle schoolers) say. While they can most certainly get on my last nerve sometimes (moms have 24 individual ones according to a friend’s son), the way a tween or teenager’s mind works can definitely provide some comic relief.
Last week, my kids were out of school for Spring Break. I was sitting at the computer trying to do some more research for the blog. My 12 year old daughter was watching some of her favorite Magcon boys on YouTube (if you don’t what Magcon is, please Google this. Tween girls everywhere will thank you). Out of the blue, my daughter looked at me with a straight face and said “Maryland is in Pennsylvania, right?” I couldn’t help but smile. My mini-me is a very smart kid, but when the kids have time off from school everything shuts down like Chic Fil A on Sunday. Kids can have their moments too, right? My husband and I try to teach them everything we can through the questions they ask or the situations they are pondering. So, we used this moment for a geography lesson of the Northeast states. Followed by whether or not Virginia was a northern state or southern one (I’m from Virginia and consider it northern myself). One of my other favorite conversations with my daughter was when we were discussing the 80’s and 90’s. I fully admit to being an 80’s child. We “did” the big hair (although mine was permed) and wore the brightly colored jewelry. I was damn proud of my red Reebok high-top sneakers too. They were all that. My daughter insisted that she was a 90’s child. I asked what she knew about the decade. She mentioned the show Full House and named off a couple of musical artists like MC Hammer and 3 Doors Down and said “The 1990’s ended in 2004.” Okay, dear.
Most years, we try to plan a summer vacation as a family. It started out as a bit of a tradition in 2005 when we took the kids on their first trip to the Smoky Mountains. Ever since then, we try new places to encourage them to see or try something new (my son has quite the food palate now thanks to our Louisiana trips). One of their favorite places is Destin, Florida. We had booked a trip to Destin last year, as it had been awhile since we visited. The beach town had a mini golf and go-kart track near our hotel. Huge plus here as my kids love to race their dad. They have both said to me after their turn was up “See, Mom! I don’t need a bicycle. I know how to drive!”
A day in a parent’s life is never dull 🙂
Most of us are familiar with the classic Disney movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s a story about a princess who is searching for her true love and the obstacles she encounters at the hands of the antagonist, the Evil Queen. The Evil Queen expects to hold the title of the “fairest in the land” by tricking Snow White into eating a poisonous apple. Truthfully, we all hope to be Snow White and have our expectations met. However, even fairytales have shown us how hard that can be.
Sometimes, it is easy to have our expectations met because we are trying to accomplish something. We can set ourselves up to achieve the goal by writing it down, working on it a little at a time, and succeeding (or failing) based on how much we value the goal. But what happens when the Universe just says no? Just yesterday, I had some goals I wanted to accomplish. I had planned on running some errands, maybe doing some grocery shopping and getting some housework done. Unfortunately for me, life didn’t see the day as I did. I had hoped to get the errands done early but instead, my expectations disintegrated when I ran into quite an annoying snag on a phone call. The phone call took a lot more time and brain power than was needed. I wanted to get out of the house by a certain time, but that wasn’t happening. I let the phone call ruin my day.
Why do we have expectations in the first place? Is it because we want to experience what we believe or hope for? The law of detachment says to allow things to be as they are. But how often do we do this? I know I don’t do it as much as I should. I ended up feeling disappointed because the Universe wasn’t in agreement with the plan in my head. Perhaps the older we get, the more we need to understand why it’s so important not to have expectations. Not everyone has the same plan that you do. Often at the end of the waiting game, if we choose to just “go with the flow” we don’t end up feeling negative at all. Yes, those feelings of disappointment are a fact of life sometimes. But they don’t need to be how we feel permanently. Simply, the less we expect disappointment the easier life is.
The best way in overcoming the anticipation of always expecting your goals to be met is to just accomplish what you can. It’s not to say others don’t (and won’t) help with the accountability. Just be on the same page when you ask for their help. Don’t let your best friend drag you down because she didn’t want to help with the cookie project you wanted done. On a Friday night. At 6:00 p.m. Agree on how you want to accomplish your goals and stick to it. If by making a plan, you meet your goal, great! But expectations can feel like it’s the end of the world when they aren’t met. It’s not. The prince did not give up on Snow White when he found his true love. He fought for her by defeating the Evil Queen. How would the Disney story be today had he not? Expectations are poisonous to our health, but only if we let them be.
Have you struggled with your expectations of how something should be?
In the summer of 2009, my husband and I took a trip to San Diego, California. Other than a layover in Los Angeles, I’d never been to the West Coast before. (This trip was partially so I could see what my husband was up to during his Marine Corps days). I hopped off the plane and automatically loved seeing palm trees and sunshine. The scenery was a lot different than what I was used to in the airports from my East Coast trips.
For months leading up to our visit, my husband swore he wanted me to try his favorite Mexican chain, Alberto’s. They had the best carne asada burritos according to him. I was never a burrito fan, but wanted to indulge him. Unfortunately, after driving around one night from Temecula’s wine country, we never did find one. So we went back to our temporary apartment in the Gaslamp. (The Gaslamp is the place to eat and do things). Being that is was near 10 pm on a Sunday, we walked around trying to find a Mexican restaurant that just happened to be open. The nightlife was in full swing, if people screaming on the sidewalk and loud music from nearby venues was any indication. The restaurant, of which I can’t recall the name, changed my life. Not surprisingly, we were the only ones in the dimly-lit space. The radio was on as we quickly ordered carne asada burritos and margaritas. The order came out lightning-fast and the first bite of the carne asada burrito was..eh. I couldn’t tell under the red lights of our table if my husband was pleased or just curiously awaiting my reaction. As I continued eating, the sensation hit me. The “this is nothing to write home about” moments led to the “What in the hell just happened?” moment. Somewhere along the way, my taste buds changed my mind about carne asada burritos. They were phenomenal with a capital P.
Life is the same way. When you feel stuck in your life, what makes you feel good? What moments like my new love for carne asada burritos have you just stopping in your tracks and thinking “Why haven’t I taken up surfing/crocheting/ parasailing/ drama class sooner? One of the first clues in life about taking on something new is that it often unexpected. These are the “go” moments that tell your heart when to begin. A lot of people (myself included) often claim we don’t know where to begin. I had been eating Mexican food since I was a child and never recalled tasting Mexican this yummy. In addition, I found something wonderful in something so simple. We never know when we get up in the morning when something or someone will change our lives. The crazy thing is sometimes, the new event even happens in weird Stay open to the odd, funny, or even embarrassing ways that the universe will say “Yes!”
I’m not sure how we missed Alberto’s as they appear to be all over the San Diego area. However, I’m kind of glad we went to the Gaslamp restaurant instead. 🙂