Expectation often breeds disappointment.
That a phrase my personal minister coined that I’m quite fond of using. That’s not to say that everything we expect ends in disappointment; rather that every disappointment we experience is due to a preceding expectation. Perhaps I should rephrase it to say disappointment is the byproduct of expectation.
So the weekend is here, which is considered by most to be the dessert of the week. However, here I am diving into the layercake of Saturday and Sunday only to find stale globs of have-tos in between the fluffy layers of want-tos.
Funny how I will encounter people wanting to decry their heaps of chores with wishes of wealth to support a full staff, while the mismatched minister clucks his tongue and self-righteously declares the value of simply “being in the moment”. You see, that minister moonlights as a grifter. I parade around dressed in a costume of a person other people would want to be like; exemplifying a positive attitude and inspirational behavior, being content and in the moment, filled with peace. Yet in my private moments the grifter drops his guard and I have trouble playing the role of the person I want to be like for the audience of myself.
There are several things I really want to do this weekend. There are a few other things I would enjoy doing that are on the list. Then there are the things I must do. The must-dos tower on the horizon and cast their menacing shadows over those pleasures and joys. They become the gravity well for my focus and pull my attention to the dread of obligatory chores that are pending and impending. It seems it would be easier to remove the duct tape residue from an old hardshell suitcase than to pull myself from that negative polarity back into the moment, that point of simply being in the present.
From what crazy making logic does that compulsion to dwell arise, to lament the thief of leisure and play time that is our tasks, chores, and to-do lists? Why do we find ourselves spending 15 waking hours dreading a 1 hour task? In fact, the true thief of leisure is not the task itself, rather the time spent thinking about the task while the wonderful taste of coffee goes ignored, while the time off from work goes unacknowledged, while the warm dog on my lap goes unpetted.
Then my own minister reminds me of the beauty of having a lawn, so I give thanks by mowing it. The bounty of nice clothing, so I show gratitude by washing and folding it. The good fortune and the love of family and friends, so I embrace each and every social “obligation”.
I remind myself that if the glass is half empty, it’s because I was fortunate enough to have been able to drink the top half.