I'm just home from a weekend in Melbourne, fulfilling a lifelong desire to attend one of Australia's major race days. And I was very much afraid that this would not live up to my lofty expectations, built over many, many years and escalated over the past months. Until now it's not been possible to get away for the spring racing carnival but this year we HAD TO be there...there being Flemington racecourse for Victoria Derby Day. Or, as it became known in our family, Epic Saga Day.
This all came about when our two sons, along with four of their cousins, decided to buy a small share in a racehorse. These boys grew up close together, still catch up at family gatherings, but between Christmases were drifting apart as they moved into careers, relationships, travel, new locations, new friendships, new interests. They didn't want this drift to continue and decided to be proactive. They focussed on one common interest: hence, their share in a horse named Epic Saga.
Not only has the venture consolidated the friendship but, as the horse showed promising form through the spring, more and more family members and friends jumped on the bandwagon. (To hear us talk, one would think we all owned a piece of the epic one!) This all culminated in him taking his place in the select field for the Victoria Derby on Saturday. And we HAD TO be there to watch him race.
It turned out that he wasn't able to carry the weight of a jockey AND the expectations of all our family and friends but that didn't matter. What mattered was friendships consolidated, family brought together, an experience shared.
It turned out that on this occasion my expectations were not only met but totally exceeded.
How are you with managing expectations? Do you build things up too much only to be let down...or do you keep a lid on them so you can enjoy the occasion no matter what happens?
Edited to meet expectations: