Over a TV show brainstorming session with my friend and classmate tonight, I came to the realization that the struggles of the thirty-something decade (for me, so far) seem to be revolving around the internal battle of expectations vs. reality. Most of the angst I experience now revolves around thoughts like “Am I where I should be for my age?” “Am I behind?” “Should I start planning for children now? “Is it weird that I’m not feeling an intense need for children now?” “Will I ever accomplish my dreams?” “Am I going to have to settle down and get a corporate job?”
Of course, it’s a decade that’s about striving for certain goals, but it’s also a decade about accepting imperfections and appreciating what we have. Learning to “want” the reality we already have. But man oh man, is it tough.
When I used to do yoga at a particular studio in Manhattan, the teacher used to say, “Expectations reduce joy.” It’s a such beautiful statement and it’s applicable to almost every aspect of life. Even relationships. Expecting people to act or treat us a certain way is like asking to be disappointed.
I wanted to share some beautiful quotes about releasing expectations.
“Would you like to know your future? If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator. So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence — a surprise.” – Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
“Know that everything is in perfect order whether you understand it or not.”
― Valery Satterwhite
“I hope you do not let anyone else’s expectations direct the course of your life.”
― Julianne Donaldson, Edenbrooke
“Before her marriage she had thought that she had love within her grasp; but since the happiness which she had expected this love to bring her hadn’t come, she supposed she must have been mistaken. And Emma tried to imagine just what was meant, in life, by the words “bliss,” “passion,” and “rapture” – words that had seemed so beautiful to her in books.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary