Have you ever had one of those moments when you are feeling deeply disappointed about how something is going, and then a voice somewhere in the back of your head asks, "Seriously? What were you really expecting?"
I hear this annoying-ass little know-it-all in my brain all the time.
As a compulsive planner (in quasi-recovery), my normal solution to disappointment is normally to fixate on a new plan. That I can build up in my head as the end-all-be-all, and then go through all the same steps again. Rinse. Repeat. I truly love the idea of not having expectations, but I fall radically short when it comes to reality.
I've tried so many techniques over the years to get a handle on this, and they've ranged from distracting myself so that I don't fantasize about something so much that I build up unrealistic expectations, to trying to psyche myself by coming up with all the ways I'm sure I'll actually really be disappointed, and just about everything in between.
My journal has basically turned into a Jira board full of bugs about the hidden, non-functional requirements in my life. (Tech peeps all got that. Sorry to the rest of you.)
But when I look back at the major events of my life that were NOT disappointing, they all have one thing in common: I was super clear with myself about my expectations beforehand.
So now, that's my focus: writing down in explicit, and sometimes embarrassing, detail my expectations. And what I've realized is that some of my expectations are often scifi-level unrealistic, but until I apply words to them and own them, they just fester in the back of my mind and wait until they can ruin what should be an otherwise great experience by superimposing unjust disappointment.
What do you do when something you were looking forward to comes up short of what you'd hoped it would be?