I am fascinated by expectations. They are all around us – society, family, media, etc. etc. all present something or the other at times – do this, buy that, this is considered to be correct, don’t do this, and so on. However, I have realised that somehow the expectations that reward and punish the most, are our own.
Several times, we have wandered in the search of experiences, vacations, events and social gatherings – anticipating something special and have come back slightly disappointed. On the other hand, random, unplanned and accidental events have been some of the most memorable and priceless.
Is this something that arises from the way our minds work ? Does it compare what we have in front of us with something that is “better” or “perfect” according to popular opinion or several other criteria? What if we saw events without rating or measuring them – but just by what they were? Can we? Of course, once in a while our tendency to compare will creep in, and maybe it should too, but what if we could see something in a balanced way first, and then try to put a label to it?
Often, I have seen, for example, a sunset, and wondered “if only I saw this from a beach” or “if only I was in the mountains now; they would have made the horizon look so much prettier” and so on. What I realise is that by doing this “what if” business, I am ruining the current view while my thoughts wander around!
In this age of extra information, job pressures, increased uncertainties of the modern lifestyle and high expectations, I choose to simplify things. I do not wish to squander away the present via looking elsewhere, by looking way ahead in time or backwards all the time. There is much to learn and apply to the self.
That’s why, when I saw the rain stop and the skies suddenly explode in colors one evening, or when I woke up groggily and just happened to glance out of the window without expecting to see a nice sunrise, I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the moments much better than what I could probably have a few months back. I did not care about the less-than-perfect vantage point, I did not regret not having the best view, I did not think if clear skies would be that frequent anymore or not. Rather, I learnt to ignore the huge crane in the picture – and focused on the colors!! Glad I did so. 🙂
This is one of the things I love about travelling and trying to be in touch with Nature by trying to understand it – the opportunity to see something unexpected comes so easily. It could be something as small as a different preparation of tea or coffee to something big enough to eventually shed light on us. Like a glorious sunrise or sunset.