My almost fifteen year old was hoping to start his first job this summer. My high school junior was hoping to have a research internship lined up. And my little guy was gearing up for his final season of Little League. Playing on the 12 year old team and getting a shot at playing in the state-wide tournament that culminates in the Little League World Series. All those things seem unlikely now.
Last week I was dragging my expectations around like wet clothes stuck to me, not even realizing it.
Over the weekend we took a hike on the Appalachian Trail. The trail was just over 1km long. But we climbed up and up, along switchbacks carved into the rock, stepping carefully over wet leaves and damp moss, exerting our bodies and asking our legs to keep going a little further.
After thirty minutes of climbing, we reached the rock outcropping that was our destination. We could see out over the valley of the Housatonic and Green Rivers, across farmland and forested land to the hills and mountains on the other side of the valley.
The change of perspective did all of us some good. It helped to not be cooped up in the house. For me, it also reminded me how I am a part of something so much larger. My sense of space and time shifted. A single season is not very long in the life of a mountain.
It’s okay if the spring and summer don’t unfold the way I expected. It’s okay if certain things have to be put on hold for the time being. I let myself feel the sadness and regret of each loss, and then I released each one to the wind.
I can adjust my perspective and zoom out to the bigger picture and feel grateful: we are together, we have access to healthy foods and income, we have technology that lets us reach out to others and feel connected.
So, I am reaching out a virtual hand. Let us take this journey, knowing that together we can do hard things.
May it be so.
What is your relationship to expectations? What might be the impact of letting go of expectations in this moment?
Jessica Curtis is a professional life coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.