GREAT OR small EXPECTATIONS

Charles Dickens’ book, “Great Expectations,” is one of my favorite books. Through the life of Pip, the reader experiences the lessons of having expectations of oneself and others.

Expectations come from those placed on us by others, from what we expect of others, or what we expect of ourselves. A parent raises a child with expectations of certain behaviors. An employer has certain job expectations from each employee.

Expectations become problematic when we only focus on how things “should” be and how the people around us “should” act and feel. When we place too many “should’s” on ourselves, we can become depressed and lose sight of who we truly are.

If we lived in a perfect world, expectations would only be for ourselves and based on our inner gifts and personalities. However, the world and people are not perfect.

I recently turned 80-years-old, and I unfairly expected my family to “surprise” me with a celebration. How very wrong and unfair that was. I was thinking of me, not them, not Covid, not the costs, and so forth.

Just like Pip, I had an important lesson to learn.

God taught me to appreciate the fact that I had metaphorically 80 candles on the cake; be grateful for each person in my life, and celebrate the love and well-being of each friend and family member.

As it turns out, I had a wonderful birthday celebrating it with friends one evening before the big day. I received birthday cards with personal messages that touched me deeply. Several of my gynecologic cancer sisters and their care partners surprised me at a luncheon with gifts, cards, a cake, and a birthday tiara placed on my head.

The best way to avoid having expectations of others and unfair ones for ourselves, is to focus on our dreams. Have goals, take the steps to achieve, while keeping our eyes on the dream. As so beautifully said:

FICTION IN A FLASH CHALLENGE #22 @pursoot #Writing Community #IARTG #ASMSG

Each week, award-winning author Suzanne Burke provides a photo prompt from which we are invited to write a one-liner, short story, or poem. Everyone is welcome to participate.

This week I wrote a Tanka poem, which is a Japanese form of poetry with 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 syllables. I hope you enjoy this week’s entry.

THE BINDER IS OLD
JUST AS I AM ALSO OLD
WE ARE BOTH WORN OUT
TATTERED, TIRED YET EMBRACED
BY STRAPS OR YOUR LOVING ARMS.
 
OUR SKINS ARE WRINKLED
TORN, FRAGILE, SCARRED, YET HOLDING
US TOGETHER WHILE
HIDING SECRETS, LIES, AND DREAMS
NEVER REVEALED TO OTHERS.
 
NOW THAT I HAVE PASSED,
ONLY GOD’S JUDGEMENT MATTERS
BUT I PRAY YOU WILL
LOVE ME WITHOUT CONDITION
ACCEPTING MY HUMANNESS.
 
READ THE WORN PAGES
KNOWING THEY COME FROM MY HEART
WHILE BARING MY SOUL
     SO YOU WILL KNOW WHO I WAS
STILL LOVING, ACCEPTING ME.
 
WHEN YOU CREMATE ME,
DO THE SAME TO THE BINDER
PUTTING OUR ASHES
 IN THE GROUND OF THE OAK TREE
TOGETHER, FOREVER MORE.

If you have not yet visited Suzanne Burke’s website and purchased one of her books, I encourage you to do so. One of my favorite books are “Empty Chairs” written under the pseudonym of Stacy Danson. https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/

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