Appreciation versus expectation

The Rock on the horizon in south-western New South Wales, Australia.

An acquaintance of mine regularly talks about appreciation and expectation.  Instead of expecting something to happen, appreciate what does happen.

Every time she says it, it really makes me think about how every single day, we set up expectations for ourselves and those around us …

Often if we, or our family, co-workers or friends don’t meet those expectations we become angry or upset or disheartened. Appreciating what simply has occurred is a much more positive way of looking at things and makes you realise how many more little achievements there are every day.

Taking that fresh look at life, is something I’ve been trying to do of late.  It’s been a long, busy week for both Adam and I and we’re both feeling drained and tired.  When I walked in the door the other night, I was slightly irked that Adam had left work documents, equipment and other belongings spread out on our dinner table.  Instead of having the expectation that he should’ve had it cleaned up to coincide with when I finished work, I appreciated the fact he did a few loads of washing while he was working from home.

A bunch of flowers sitting on a table by a window.

Stopping for a few moments to appreciate what he’d done, instead getting upset about my expectations not being met gave me an almost mental kick up the backside. It wasn’t worth getting cranky about the stuff on the table, when ultimately he’d done us both a favour by knocking over the laundry.

That whole shift in thinking is really quite powerful when you start to introduce it to your every day.  It’s certainly made me realise that I can be quite negative and get anxious at times, and it’s because I’ve got all these expectations in my head.  When I take the time to instead appreciate what’s happening, I feel much more calmer and happier.  And really, I think we’d all rather that.

How do you juggle expectation and appreciation?

Have a wonderful weekend. X

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