Personal Expectations

Update: I wrote this in January 2010. My mother passed away in the spring of 2013.

Where I expected to be, versus where I am…

When I was a child and played games, I never envisioned a “grown-up” life that included a husband and children. Sometimes I gave lip service to the thought of a husband, but this was because I assumed that I needed a husband to have the 3 children I imagined. But most of the time when I was picturing my adult life, it was me – alone. Alone and happy.

But this was not to be, and it was probably obvious to others around me as soon as I entered high school. I always either had a boyfriend or was interested in one. Now I know that this was probably high physical drive, not a search for a husband, but that is where it led. I was rarely alone. Eventually I really did fall head over heels in love, and we married and started a family.

That was not my expectation, though life has been very good.

When I was born, my parents were in their 40’s. so when I graduated high school my parents were much older than those of my friends. My mother and I were very close. At age 18, I imagined the day when I would be old enough for me to be there for her as she was for me when I was a child. I looked forward to the day when I could casually visit with her and enjoy her company, and maybe even have her come live with me if she needed to. I never told her these things but I looked forward to them just the same.

However, after I began my own family, I moved far away from my parents, and I have been lucky to see them once each year, sometimes less. My father has passed away but my mother is still here, but again, lives too far for me to visit. I will often say that I am having “withdrawal” from my mom if I go more than a year between visits, but there is no way I could make this happen more frequently. I wish I could.

So over the past 25 years I have not shared many cups of coffee with her, have not spent too many days relaxing with her with no time pressures, and in fact I have spent less than one year – total – with my mother in the past 25 years (one visit per year, 52 weeks in a year, you do the math…).

This was completely opposite of my expectations.

Have you had to adjust your expectations for your life? I think we all have. If we haven’t, this means that we did it without thinking, purposefully or not. At every age we should stop occasionally and examine our goals, and our expectations. I think I would have surprised myself and made certain things happen, if I had made it a point to write my own expectations down.

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