Friday, December 20, 2013

Expectations exceeded: What joy!

Earlier this week I blogged about the frustrations that come from unmet expectations.

Sometimes, though, our experiences exceed our expectations. Have you had that happen? Isn't it pure delight when it occurs?

That happened for me this week. My middle son, daughter-in-law and six grandchildren who live in the area planned to meet us at a restaurant for dinner to celebrate both my birthday and also an early Christmas, since my fiance and I won't be in town for Christmas this year. Because their kids are nearly all teenagers and have extremely busy lives of their own—and my son and daughter-in-law both have demanding jobs—I knew they had other activities going on. I knew we'd have a wonderful and fun time, but I thought it might be a bit rushed because of their schedules.

But the evening was just one of the most delightful ones I've had in a while. We packed a lot of great conversation, joy and laughter into the time we did have. An extra bonus for all of us was that we had an absolutely amazing waiter who was spot-on with recommendations and had a great sense of humor to add to his attentiveness. We each enjoyed our food, the setting and service; and we especially enjoyed each other.

Family time always is precious—and yet we know that at this time of year, our expectations (sometimes taken from Christmas cards, TV shows and other media images) can exceed reality. So it's a real gift when reality exceeds expectations. I intend to savor this experience.

What are you noticing these days about expectations and experience?

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