We all have them. We can have high expectations. We can have low expectations. It is a rare occasion that we have no expectations.
This past week we had the opportunity to take a few days and travel to the sunshine state. We spent one day at the Magic Kingdom. That superseded every expectation I had. In fact, it blew my expectations out of the water. From the service to the food to the rides it was everything I thought it would be and more. Couple all of that with my son’s priceless reaction and I am still getting teary eyed.
We then took a couple of days to visit and crash at a friend’s house in Tampa. He took us to see the sights. We visited a big mall. Drove through downtown and looked at a lot of tall buildings. Drove through Ybor City. Lots of people and lots of things made by man are just not my thing.
Then on Wednesday night he took us to a beach. Not just any beach, but a beautiful beach with white sand and no buildings and very little people. Fort Desoto Beach.
The water was gorgeous. I snapped picture after picture. He snapped picture after picture as well. He took a few pics of us as I was taking pictures of the scenery. I almost dropped my camera in the water as I was posing with my hubby for a pic. I didn’t want to pose. I wanted to take pictures. Note to self: taking one-handed pictures with your camera while standing in the ocean is not wise.
As the clouds rolled in and we started walking to the van, our friend tells me, if you liked this beach then you have to go to Siesta Key. It is better than this one.
My expectations started to rise. Fort Desoto had trees and wild grass. Little pockets of water as well as a little creek with a wooden bridge added to the solitude and serenity of the place. It was like someone had set me in the midst of a deserted island. I wasn’t sure how any other beach could get better, but I was bound and determined to get to this “better” beach!
The next day I picked up a friend as we had planned. I told her I heard about this beautiful beach and asked if she’d like to go. She was totally up for it. We ate some lunch and headed out. We drove for a good hour and a half. Finally, we arrived at our destination. I was in a panic. There must be some sort of mistake.
The parking lot was completely full. There were people everywhere. I was sure if we kept driving we would find the “better” part of the beach he had told me about. My friend was pretty certain this was the beach we were looking for. I wasn’t so certain. After taking a drive through the neighborhood, we pulled into the parking lot that had a sign saying “parking lot full.”
This couldn’t be! This is not what I expected. Inside, where it really counts, I was stomping my feet and throwing an absolute fit. How would I find peace in the midst of all these people? How would I find inspiration for the next chapters that are waiting for me to tackle them?
As I was sitting in my borrowed lawn chair looking around at the masses, the tall buildings lining the shore, the airplane advertising it’s wares and the football that almost landed on my lap, I realized that to the person who gave me the advice, this would be the better beach. You see, he loves to be in the center of the action. He loves people and all that busy stuff. His idea of a good time is laughter with lots of friends and lots of talking.
I had high expectations for Siesta Key. And I do agree, it is a very beautiful beach. The sand is pure white and super fine. The water is warm and inviting. But it wasn’t what I expected.
I almost let my expectations ruin a beautiful day. Once I realized that my expectations were getting in the way of having a wonderful time with my friend, I let the expectations go and dove in. We took a long walk and picked up a few shells. We jumped in the waves until my legs were jelly and I could barely make it back to my chair. We laughed out loud and giggled like kids. We had fun.
Are your expectations keeping you from enjoying the moment? Let go and embrace life. You’ll be glad you did!