Hello SOTGC community,
What do you do when things just don’t turn out the way you had planned? Sometimes, as was the case for me right around this time last year, it’s hard not to be disappointed.
Every year in May my family gets together on the Gulf Coast of Florida, for a week of sun on the beach. This has been a family tradition for the past 30 years. Because of that, this particular beach has a special place in my heart, and I look forward to the trip all year.
One of the best things about the island we visit is that in all of the 30 years we’ve gone, we have experienced amazing weather. It’s most often in the low to mid-80’s and sunny; I can only remember rain once or twice. My time is spent where I am most happy, on a chaise on the beach, listening to the waves.
Needless to say, it wasn’t picture-perfect last year … cool, low 70’s, partly cloudy, and very windy … not beach weather as far as I’m concerned. I know, sound the violins. But honestly, it felt as though I hadn’t left my home in Southern California.
Before I end up sounding like a complete spoiled brat, let me clarify – beaches in the San Diego area aren’t really my style for lying in the sun (not that I am a sun-worshipper – in fact, my husband thinks I am really anal about sun protection). They are beautiful, and I enjoy them for the scenery, but that’s where it ends … the water is too cold for me, and it rarely gets warm enough (for me) to lounge in a bathing suit. Perhaps it’s also because I am from the East Coast, but the beach to me means warm water and hot sun, as most of my beach vacations growing up were in Florida or the Caribbean.
To be honest, I found myself finding it hard to feel grateful for my vacation last year because it had not gone as planned – usually I would have logged endless hours on the beach, and I think I only went down there once or twice, and bundled up at that.
That’s the problem with expectations … we build things up to be a certain way, and when they are not, our enjoyment and happiness can easily deteriorate as a result.
Do you let your expectations get the best of you? If so, here are two solutions to this challenge:
First, try not to have expectations in the first place. Instead, opt for hope. When we are hopeful, it allows for more flexibility and less attachment to a particular outcome. I am certainly hopeful that the weather will be more favorable this year, but I will not let it cloud (no pun intended) my attitude if it is not.
The second solution is to shift your focus to the things that are going well. In my case, that means finding the sun elsewhere … and being happy that I am together with my family, eating great food, and relaxing. That’s really all the warmth that I really need anyway.
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