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The trick to expectations isn't so much to not have any as it is to identify their merit, accept their context, and allow them to change. Failure to do so? Likely causes that disappointed feeling you can never quite pin down when things don't work out.

Yesterday was my birthday; last night was going to be 'part 1' of my birthday celebrations. A sort of mild midweeky get together. I had hoped--I had expectations of--a good group of friends would come, we'd see something thought provoking, and then get some food and discuss stuff--life, the universe, and everything, or just the movie.

Why were those my expectations? I like doing those things; I value them highly. I like my friends for their points of view, their senses of humor, their articulateness; I love discussion as a means of exploring different perspectives and relishing being alive & close to people. And I love a good movie. Really, really love. I don't get to do these things anywhere near enough, and one thing that's frustrated me a lot recently is my lack of social/cultivation time. I figured my birthday would be a wonderful chance to indulge all of this and spend time with people I respect and enjoy.

It didn't work out that way--but it's ok. Besides having 'part 2' to look forward to on Saturday (lasertag. fuck yeah.), I had already figured the movie might not work out. Too little notice, mostly, plus it was a Monday night. 

See, the trick underlying the trick to dealing with expectations is that pragmatic realism type stuff I've written about. That's what I think it is, anyway.

First, figure out why you have these expectations; where they came from. Their context, if you will. Second, try to understand why they matter to you, what value they hold. Afterall, it might turn out they're irrelevant or meaningless, so you needn't take them too seriously.

This, to me, looks like pragmatic realism. You've figured out where your expectations fit in and their value, so now you can understand your expectations for what they are and work with them instead of being blindly enslaved to them.

I set up the whole movoe event barely 3 days ago. I figured it wouldn't be enough forewarning, plus I had it on a Monday night. Still, it would have been nice if it had worked out, but it didn't. It didn't 'destroy me' because that's how I looked at it: "It would be nice if this works out, but it mightn't."

Instead, I stayed home. I got some (apparently much needed) rest, had pizza with my parents and watched a movie at home. I got a couple presents from the folks; nothing crazy but still special enough. And that was that.

Frankly, I liked it.

It helps that I have this Saturday's laser warfare to look forward to. Now, I gotta figure out these expectations, too; I can't let them get too far ahead of me. Because the trick in front of the tricks to facing expectations? Never letting them keep you from enjoying yourself.


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