Tuesday, October 10, 2017



Let's face it - we all have them. We expect certain things from certain people. We expect certain results from certain events. We expect our partner to always be honest and always put us first. We expect dates to go a certain way. We expect holidays to be filled with joy. We expect wonderful gifts on Valentine's Day, or our anniversary, or our birthday.

Last night I decided that because I hadn't been home much over the weekend, I was going to spend today with my phone off and have just a day with my husband. We didn't really have any specific plans... just that it would be a day with just the two of us.

I woke up at 7:30 to get the kids up for school, then shut off my phone. My husband was still sleeping, so I laid down in the living room watching tv, waiting for him to wake up. Half hour later, I got a call from my eldest son letting me know he wouldn't be able to come home until later in the day. No offense - but thank God. I'd forgotten he was planning on coming home. I love having him here, but this was a spouse day. Half hour after that, hubby woke up, but wasn't in a happy mood. He wasn't overly cranky - just wasn't in the happy happy joy joy mood I'd expected. Half hour after that, we get a call from the school... daughter's glasses broke yet again. Half hour after that, home health showed up to help with hubby's wound dressings. Half hour later, I had to go to the school to pick up the broken glasses - and then spent two hours with hubby piecing together her lenses, old frames that almost matched the size of said lenses, and a pair of bows from yet another pair of glasses.

It was during that Frankenstein glasses making that my husband said this wasn't how he expected the day to be. He was disappointed. It wasn't even noon, and our special day together had already been interrupted several times.

And it was during that time that it really hit me. I was having a great morning. True... it wasn't what I'd expected. I'm really not even sure what I was expecting. He wasn't even sure. But the day wasn't meeting our expectations, whatever those might have been.

But that really didn't matter. What did matter to me was that we were spending time together. We were laughing together. We were bitching together. We were together.

All too often, we allow our expectations to cloud our experiences. The day didn't go as we wanted. A person didn't act as we expected. An event didn't go how it was supposed to. And we feel let down. We feel depressed or upset or hurt.

We fail to see the good in those moments. We fail to see the beauty. We fail to see the love.

Oddly, the following is what I had been writing last night, but I feel it is appropriate for this post...


What is true joy?

It’s the first warm day of spring, when things are melting and yet there is still a couple feet of snow on the ground. Walking barefoot through the growing puddles of melting snow.

It’s the later days of spring, when everything has melted but it’s still fairly cold, and sleeping outside in the tent under several layers of blankets.

It’s the first days of summer, with fire pits and swimming in the middle of the night with family.  

It’s summer nights with friends and family, laughing and being silly.  

It’s the first days of fall, standing in the middle of the yard as the leaves float down around you.

It’s the first blizzard, laughing with children as the snow covers us, or trying to find our way home after the entire town experiences a power outage late at night. 

It’s New Year’s Eve, making snow angels at midnight.

It’s that one nice winter day when the snow sticks enough to build snowmen, even if we make those snowmen a little inappropriate.

It’s the hugs in the morning. It’s the fights. It’s the hugs to make up. It’s the late night cries.

It’s sitting in a rocking chair for hours holding a sick child.

It’s dropping to your knees in prayer.

It’s the love after an argument. It’s the tickle fights. It’s the tantrums. It’s the sitting around doing nothing but enjoying the company of another.

It’s helping a loved one who’s sick. It’s sitting with a loved one who’s crying.

It’s bandaging wounds, and paying bills. It’s doing laundry and washing dishes and cooking.

It’s that simple “are you okay?” It’s the hand reaching out to help you up.

It’s the teasing and playing.

It’s the interruptions to a special day. It’s the friend messaging saying “I need you.”

It’s that loving hug from your child the morning after a disagreement. It’s those words of love from a parent. 


Every moment is what we choose to make it. We can choose to be upset because the day didn't live up to our expectations. Or we can choose to embrace the special moments we're given. 

In my eyes, today was perfect. No... it didn't go as I'd expected. But that's okay. It's better than okay. It was perfect. It was spent (mostly) with just the man I love. Yeah, part of that time was spent fixing glasses, or sleeping, or with my eldest son who did eventually show up, or with a husband who wasn't feeling well for part of the evening, and even with a serious discussion. But it was time spent in love. I'd rather have all that than any kind of expectation I could come up with. 


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