“I mean, like most guys, you carry around this girl in your head, who is exactly who you want her to be. The person you think you will love the most. And every girl you are with gets measured against this girl in your head.” ― Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
And because of that, you can never be happy. And you can never see the possibilities with all the girls you’ve been with. That’s called expectation.
Expectation: The act of conducting oneself according to an imagined result.
When we imagine how things are going to turn out we start behaving in a certain way instead of responding to what is actually taking place. When we do that the discrepancy between our imagined outcome and our reality creates a fair amount of anxiety, frustration and ultimately disappointment.
It is difficult for us not to have expectations, especially from people or circumstances that are meaningful to us. The reason is fairly simple; our imagination takes us where we want to go not where we are.
One of the negative side effects of expectations is the rigidity that it creates. Once we imagine an outcome we become married to it. We lose our ability to see and feel situations as they are.
If we could push our expectations aside and live situations and relationships for what they are, we would certainly find a greater deal of satisfaction.
Holding on to created ideas stops us from finding the positive in our current situations. Somehow we don’t see what it is. We only see what it isn’t.
The only way I know to let go of expectations, is by living in the moment and seeing situations and people as they are while releasing what they are not. By living in the moment – and letting day dreams pass us by – we give ourselves permission to embrace what it is thus enjoying the present.
I love to talk. I love sharing everything that goes on in my head. I also often ask others: What do you think?
Every person that I ask that question of gives their best shot when answering. They think about my issue and using their love and care for me respond with honesty. This can be a truly satisfying exchange if my objective is by using dialogue, explore different possibilities. But it can also be damaging if I accept the other person’s point of view as my own without that being the case.
The reason is pretty simple: the way each of us sees the world is a result of our own set of values. What is important to others may not be important to us or vice-versa.
When a friend or a family member gives their opinion it is based on what would make them satisfied. Not necessarily on what would make us happy.
Making decisions has to do with taking actions that are in accordance with our personal sense of right and wrong. Making the “correct” decision means maintaining harmony between who we are and how we behave. And that only us can know.
If we use dialoguing with others as a way to explore our own choices and possibilities then it is a great experience. But if we follow what others think because we’re uncertain or because we are afraid of taking responsibility for our unique choice, we may end up finding ourselves in trouble. We most certainly have a better chance of creating harmony with our actions if they are the result of self-exploration.
So dialogue with others but remember in the end it is only you that you need to satisfy with your actions.
There are old heads in the world who cannot help me by their example or advice to live worthily and satisfactorily to myself; but I believe that it is in my power to elevate myself this very hour above the common level of my life – Henry David Thoreau
The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs. ~Joan Didion
I work in the entertainment business as a producer. I have never done anything that has resulted in great financial compensation or fame but I earn my living producing documentaries, shorts, TV and feature films.
In every business, there is success, failure and ego but in the media business these accomplishments or lack of are actually commodities. “You are only as good as your last thing” and “it doesn’t matter how good it is, only how much it makes”, are phrases often tossed around in this finicky world. If you are wondering why I’m writing about this hang on a minute and I’ll make my point.
My life is about projects. I’m a producer and I am a writer. I either get hired to produce other people’s projects – like now I’m working on a special effects film for someone else – or I originate my own projects. At any time, I’m personally working on at least 4 different projects. Because film, TV, books, webisodes, take a long time to come to fruition (sometimes 10 years) I have had to learn to enjoy the process.
The 10 years that take for a feature film to come together is marred by disappointments, frustrations and setbacks. As a producer if I don’t find a way to get something out of the process, I will never make it to the end. The same as in life.
We all have goals we want to achieve so we work towards them. Sometimes these goals take a long time to happen and in the process of getting there, life continues to unfold.
We all avoid age like it is the plague but the truth is; either we get old or we die. So somehow we need to learn how to age. But where are the stories about people in their 70s ,80s, 90s on television? Or in the movies? Or many of us socialize with older people? And how many of us can go to our parents for advice?
Most of my friends either treat their parents as children or never had or are about to have a meaningful friendship with their parents.
I’m close to my parents. I also seek out making friends with older people because I want to know how to age. I don’t want to be caught with my pants down when my time comes.
I know aging means accepting the physical changes that happen to us. Sometimes it is not an easy process, especially for us women whose physical attributes are so cherished in our society. So I bargain with life. I let some of my youthful energy go in exchange for wisdom. And I ask my older friends and my parents how to they do it.
My mom is always saying things like: “we all walk in the dark”, or “we have to be happy today”. Hearing those words from a woman who just turned 79 years old carries more weight than from a woman in her 30s or 40s because she says it from experience. And then she laughs and she’s always ready to do things.
When I spend time with her, I realize there is a way to age that does not give up on life. It’s a way that recognizes the different phases and knows how to adapt.
As I see my parents walking still holding hands and loving each other after 51 years of marriage, I know love lives on if cared for by people.
I’m not saying I’m looking forward to aging but by talking and spending quality time with older people, I know life can still be great in our 70s, 80s and 90s.
Aiding Haitian Earthquake Victims
Hometown: Ruxson, Maryland
Married with three children
On January 12, 2010, Carol was sitting in a board meeting at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center when she received a text from her husband, Tom: “7.5 quake in Haiti really bad no contact CNN cant even get in.”
Carol was stunned. Since 2003 she had served on seven medical-aid missions to Haiti through the International Medical Alliance of Tennessee (IMA) and Friends of Haiti (FOH). For the rest of the meeting, Carol, who is the mother of three children, ages 23, 20, and 15, hunched over her phone, trying to reach friends in Haiti. “It was very scary,” she says. “Everything felt so uncertain.”
Forty-eight hours later, Carol learned IMA had received a plea for help from a Haitian doctor, and just days later she and Tom, a dentist, along with six other IMA team members, set up seven makeshift operating rooms in a clinic in Jimani, a town about 30 miles from Port-au-Prince.
Working 12-hour shifts, Carol performed about 900 surgeries over the next nine days and treated countless other victims, many with crushed limbs. “We went well beyond our comfort zones,” she says. “I’m a gynecologist, but I was surgically removing dead tissue from limbs to avoid the need for amputation.”
Carol also worked as a nurse, putting in IVs and offering comfort when she could. “Performing surgery is one thing, but taking care of the patients is almost harder,” she says. “You look into their eyes and see their fear.” Carol says she will never forget sitting with one woman as her husband took his last breath. “Her wails were just chilling,” she says. Another case devastated her as well―that of a pregnant woman who had lost her baby and was paralyzed from the waist down by the time she arrived at the clinic. No translator was on hand (most Haitians speak Creole) as the woman awaited transport to the U.S. Navy’s hospital ship for intensive medical care, but Carol pulled off a silver ring she was wearing and slid it onto the woman’s finger. “I wanted her to know I was thinking of her,” she says.
Fortunately, there were a few bright moments: Carol delivered two healthy babies (one grateful mother named her new daughter Carol), and she succeeded in obtaining a U.S. visa for her friend Nadia Amedee-Louisjean, 37, a Haitian translator for FOH in her last trimester of a high-risk pregnancy. (Shown here, Carol with Nadia and her baby boy, Gaetan; they are temporarily staying with the Ritters.)
When Carol returns to Haiti, she knows the devastation from the earthquake won’t have disappeared. “The Haitians have lost everything,” says Carol. “But I’ll never stop doing what I can to help. I always remember ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’”
1 – If you have a yard, sit outside on a comfortable chair to read a good book. If you don’t have a yard, take a blanket to your nearest park and don’t forget to add a picnic.
2 – If you have dogs, take them out for a walk or a hike to a place you’ve never been to. Make this an event for both you and your animals as you discover new streets and parks. Enjoy you dogs’ happiness.
3 – Invite friends for dinner. Make it a pot luck so you don’t get stuck in the kitchen.
4 – Get a massage. Always a great way to distress.
5 - If you have kids, a picnic at a park, beach or your own back yard is always fun
6 - If you have a partner, time to set time aside for each other. What about a massage or a glass of wine? What about just kissing? Remember how the first kiss was full of emotions? Give yourself and your partner time to kiss. And don’t forget to be present.
7 – If you enjoy cooking, go to the market, plan a really great meal and invite a few of your very close friends.
8 – Go for a drive. If you live near the beach or the mountains, this is a perfect way to distress. Driving also has the psychological benefit of making us feel like we’re moving forward. Of course make sure to pick a route you won’t get caught in traffic.
9 – What about horseback riding?
10 – Do you have potted plants? Could they use repotting? Do you have a garden?
I found this article today on CNN.com and I wanted to share. It talks about a study published in the journal Psychological Science where meaningful conversations are proven to contribute to happiness. Check it out.
I truly know the value of friendship. If not for my friends I wouldn’t have made it when I lost my husband.
At that time, I had friends staying with me, taking me out and calling me for months. Actually they still do that, no longer because they are concerned for me “making it” but because they love me and I love them.
I’ve always been a people person. When I commit to a relationship, I’m there, no matter what. I’ve had friends for over thirty years and many are in different parts of the world. But now with quick internet connections we can Skype and email and its easier to stay in touch.
I’ve always known that friends are important but I’ve recently come across a New York Times article that states that friends also allow you to live longer.
Check out this link from the New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/health/21well.html?_r=1&em and then call a friend and let them know how you are and ask them how they are, if you want to live longer