The last time I posted, I shared that my word for 2017 is transformation. I mentioned the different ways I thought it would play out, and already I’m seeing in some ways I was right on track, and others, not even at the right station.
What I also didn’t consider was another word that would shove itself right in with transformation. With change comes how we deal with it. For me, I struggle. Why?
Earlier this month I counted the hours until my eye appointment where I would be back in contacts after a three year break. Not only am I vain, but I’m at the age where my temperature is nuclear. I couldn’t wait to ditch the specs that kept fogging up.
The contacts didn’t meet my expectations. I have always work gas perm lenses, and these are soft. The fit is great, but they said right off my vision wouldn’t be as “crisp.” Crisp? I felt like it was muted.
When I mentioned this, the doctor admitted that my prescription is so high that she had to compromise and give me something that was adequate for far and near. Adequate was to her a definition that meant, “These should only be used for social events. I don’t think you can wear these for work.
I could feel the giddiness fading as she spoke. This was news to me, and not welcome, either. My expectation was I’d be back in contacts full time. Now I have “muted” contacts and glasses that no longer are the right prescription. That same day I was online ordering new glasses, the one thing I wanted to be done with.
My daughter’s day wasn’t much better. The school called me to discuss a change that would overall be a benefit her and her needs. Before we touched base, the teachers misunderstood and thought everything was a go. Although it was, I had not approved the move yet. Her entire schedule changed, and it was abrupt. One minute she is in homeroom, the next, she’s gathering her things and moving to a new room. She felt ripped from her friends. She didn’t understand. And this was certainly not her expectation.
Once we were able to meet and talk, she understood why I approved the change and although she didn’t love it any more than I loved wearing my glasses, it wasn’t our expectation, but it was God’s hand. This move offers her a reset, a theme I kept reading about and how it would be a major part of the new year. If anyone deserved a reset, she did. But she had to surrender her unmet expectations.
I have loved ones who never expected to be single moms, cancer survivors, or in an unemployment line. When I think about complaining, I remember a cousin who had this mantra, “No one said life is going to be fair.”
I wish I could write that I’m going to roll with transformation and unmet expectations like a happy musical, but I know me. I process it for a time, usually follow it up with some chocolate, and ultimately surrender and trust what is a surprise to me, isn’t to God. With that, I move forward.
How do you handle unmet expectations?