What Do You Expect?

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Any kind of expectation creates a problem. We should accept, but not expect. Whatever comes, accept it. Whatever goes, accept it. The immediate benefit is that your mind is always peaceful. ~ Swami Satchidananda

My BFF, MJ, has a sort of shrine in her dining room that’s covered with cards, inspirational quotes and family pictures. Some of the cards are sweet, others, hilarious (you know who you are, Ginge). One of the cards is from my other BFF, Carey, in which she’d written the above quote from Satchidananda. She added that MJ was peace and that freaking out was not an option.

I was struck by the irony of a quote about expectations sitting on that shrine because the “shrine” is really a multi-tap kegerator. It was built more than a year ago by MJ’s wife, Cassie, and Cass’s brother, Chris. They built it in expectation of MJ’s upcoming brewery, That Damn Mary, which was scheduled to open last summer.

But, as many of you know, shifts happened, and along with steel tariffs that halted the shipping of her brewing equipment from China, cancer struck.

We all start our days with expectations: that our bodies and minds will be strong and healthy enough to do daily tasks, that there will be hot water in the shower, that our cars will start so we can drive to work, that family and friends will be kind and supportive, that appointments will be kept… But then that old shoulder injury flairs up, we wake up to a power outage, the car battery is dead or—hardest—our family and friends behave in ways that don’t live up to our expectations.

I read a quote the other day that said expectations were “premeditated resentments.” I thought about that in light of Satchidananda’s advice to accept rather than expect. But is it the expectations that create problems or is it our response to our own unmet expectations? What happens when the battery dies or our relationships don’t come through? Do we freak out or do we turn a kegerator into a shrine of laughter and love?

I know my answer… See you at That Damn Mary!

Susan JohnsonComment