It has been awhile since Ted’s Head has been forthcoming. I have started several times only to be distracted by what I had perceived as more important chores. I have been doing a lot of work on hospice, which is becoming more and more of a passion for me. Maybe just one place to put my energies.
I had another task at hand. Here in Flalaland we have a thing called “Foreign Policy”. We pick a topic, research it and present it to an audience that opts in. My topic was “Drug Policy and South America” The unique experience is studying something you know nothing about.
I dug into the research. I went down all sorts of rabbit holes. Man, I knew my subject backward and forward. I was ready to wow the crowd, tuned in on ZOOM. In truth, it was just short of a disaster.
A computer glitch made me scramble with 80+ viewers waiting patiently. When I finally got online I was out of step, scrambling to catch up. TTG was not so great. So be it.
The experience although humiliating was instructional. Did I set my expectations too high? Did I prepare for the ZOOM meeting properly? Was I as good as I thought I would be? Did I view my world with reality, rose colored glasses or doom and gloom.
This expectation thing is really quite interesting. I hope I go through my day not expecting the worst. I think I would really like to be thought of as a pragmatic optimist. And yes I do want to shoot in the 80’s in golf, be a decent hospice volunteer, or a decent husband and father. Do I make it? Who knows? My philosophy has always been, to hit high you have to aim high.
I see people every day for whom life sucks. The pessimist has low expectations so he or she is never disappointed. They tend to blame someone else for their problems. “I coulda been a contender ” is their mantra. I truly feel sorry for them. But who is right? Probably neither of us.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not opting for the dark side but in truth the realist is the winner. Sorry to say the vast majority of us are not. We all hope for something in the future. We all rue something in our past.
Mindfulness is all the rage. Yoga, meditation, Zen,Tao are all lofty ambitions. I have meditated and it is beyond cool. You shut off all the inner voices both pro and con and just drift. In theory this gives our poor old minds a rest from the everyday worries. Who wouldn’t love that? Unfortunately my local Buddhist monastery is booked full so I will have to exist on my own.
Psychologists describe explanatory styles. Do you feel like you can change your life or you have to live with what you got? Are events caused by you or an outside force? This all sounds a little wonky but if I can’t change the bad parts of my life, why even try?
25% of the way we feel is genetic or environmental. I will buy that especially in the case of abusive or supportive parenting. Yet the other 75% is learned or acquired. We all set a group of behaviors that work for us. Is your glass half full or half empty? It is not preordained.
As some of you know years ago I was diagnosed with clinical depression. It was sort of a happy on the outside and hurting on the outside thing. It wasn’t fun but I met it head-on. This thing called cognitive therapy showed me the error of my ways and a whole set of coping skills. And I still use them to this day.
The best part of the process was learning to like myself. I am who I am. I will make some people joyously happy and piss others off ad nauseam. I, in no way like the latter but it happens. I can try to hone down the edges but I gotta be me as Sammy Davis once sang. I can’t help but feel my best when I can be honest with you, warts and all. I am trying.
I beat myself up but only to try to get better. I try to be grateful for all I have and realistic about my abilities. If I am critical it is for self development not self degradation. I am just human and that for me is the Greatest Expectation of all.
Ted The Great
A noted psychologist claims,”Unrealistic expectations are actually premeditated resentment.” Interesting.
Oddly, many expectations are met or failed because of the judgment of others. We are social animals and want to be attractive and relevant.
Expectation: anticipation, contemplation, expectance, expectancy, prospect We have expectations for our health, financial results, relationships and achievements. We also have the same for our environment, politics, and common good.