Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2 - Expectations

I had a meeting with one of my dear daughter’s (DD) teachers today. DD is struggling in this class and I needed to find out how I can help her to succeed. It’s important to understand that DD has NEVER said that this teacher is mean, only that he is hard, DD doesn’t understand the content, and rumors abound that the teacher is teaching the 9th grade advanced Biology class from the AP Biology textbook. Plus, he’s Indian and has an accent that is supposedly hard to understand.

I was a little bit apprehensive about this meeting. I was expecting a difficult meeting with someone with whom I might disagree or even who I might dislike.

Instead, I met a very nice young man (younger than I am anyway) who seems to be genuinely interested in teaching well. He very patiently answered all of my questions, gave me information about resources the students can use to for help, showed me exactly what the students are graded on, and made it clear that he wants my daughter to succeed as much as I do (and hopefully as much as she does). Oh – and that accent? It’s there, but he speaks English very clearly in my opinion.

Today, at least prior to the meeting, was a diversion from my usual nature. There’s a saying from the cartoon “Life in Hell” that says “keep your expectations tiny and you won’t go through life so whiny.” While I wouldn’t suggest living one’s whole life by this maxim, I do find that if I manage my expectations in certain circumstances I’m hardly ever disappointed because my expectations weren’t met. I try to keep this little saying in my head for things like movies and social gatherings, and it seems to serve me well. I’m a glass half-full kind of gal and can find a silver lining almost anywhere.

Then again, my expectation that whoever spills water on the floor in the kitchen at work might clean it up are quite great, and as often as not, crushed.

And my expectation that if a lady doesn’t want to sit on the toilet seat she might choose to either use one of those handy seat covers, if available, or at least wipe the seat is apparently unreasonable. But still hope springs eternal.

And those expectations of myself. There’s a mixed bag if I ever saw one. I get disappointed in myself on a regular basis, but I also give myself an awful lot of slack. There probably needs to be some middle ground in that equation. Maybe when I grow up I’ll find it (see the slack-giving in its finest form?).

I have some very high expectations that will always be met though. My expectation that God has a wonderful plan for me – I just need to get out of the balcony long enough to listen to what it is. My expectation that I will always be able to find beauty in God’s world. My expectation that my children will continue to love me and I them, no matter what, because they are a gift from God.

What are your expectations? Are they reasonable? Are you disappointed on a regular basis, or delighted? Remember that God has a plan, and sometimes (Oftentimes? Always?) we aren’t the ones in charge. Expect that He’ll surprise and amaze you, and you won’t be disappointed.

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