What were you expecting?

Holiday time can be funny.

Maybe not so much haha funny in the moment, but funny if you get some perspective and look at the situation with some distance.

Often you have many family members cozied up in tight quarters.  You add a whole lot of sugar, with a fair amount of libations, sprinkled with the expectations of everyone there.  Often there is the expectation that our buttons will be pushed, that we will eat too much, drink too much, and spend too much.  Maybe we expect to get into the same arguments, with the same people, about the same things…

Expectations have a funny way of coming true.  They are not usually conscious, and generally we have some really great reasons to expect what we expect.  After all, that’s what has always happened in the past.

I was reading an article the other day about changing expectations, and that you just have to flip them, and expect only good things.  I sort of agree.  I think that when we expect good things, and actually believe in that expectation, then it’s a wonderful thing.  But here’s what happens, our brain does not get on board.  It can be too big of a shift.

Instead, if the thought of expecting it all to be groovy is too much, just suspend your expectations.  Adopt an attitude of curiosity, and let yourself just notice what happens.  If you add mindfulness, then you’ll get to notice when you start to get riled up by a comment Uncle Harry makes, and you can walk away.  You can notice when you are just putting another cookie in your mouth because it’s there, and choose instead to have one piece of your absolute favorite dessert.

Let yourself be curious about what your expectations are, and then notice how you are helping to make those expectations come true.  It just might change what happens.

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