Don’t expect, but be ready.

I had someone ask me the other day how I know what to write about… how my blogs come to be. I thought about that and answered with one word. Awareness. I think maybe I travel through life with my eyes wide open. I allow the things I see and hear around me connect to my mind and my heart. I challenge how they relate to life. The little things especially. They are my favorite moments. You can learn a lot about life by watching a small child in a grocery store.

I was standing near the blueberries, when a little girl, maybe 5 or 6 was standing tall in her pretty red dress and black patent leather shoes. Daddy was starting to walk toward the checkout lanes but noticed she wasn’t following him. She was standing there staring at the caramel apple kit and asking “Daddy, Daddy… I want this, I want it.” “Let’s go Maddy, we need to get home, we are already late” he replied in a hurry. She wasn’t budging. I put some berries in my cart and started to turn around when her shrill got louder. “DADDY, What is this? Is it the same thing?? I WANT SOME!” Daddy stopped the cart about 10 feet away, turned around and walked over to her as she was getting louder and louder shouting “Daddy” about 5 times a second. He smiled as he passed me and said… I should have been ready for that. She LOVES caramel apples. We used to make them at Grandma’s house when she was still alive.” I smiled and I think I let out an “Awwww” as he passed me. He knelt down to Maddy’s level and told her they were going to be late and that they already had something to make special apples at home. She smiled at him with a huge, tearful smile and put her arms up to him to be picked up. He was gracious, kind and loving as he lifted her into the cart. Off they went, late for wherever they were supposed to be.

I smiled quietly and walked toward the registers myself.

Expectations can be tricky. As an athlete, it can be damaging to your confidence levels during play. The issue is that when we expect something to happen and it doesn’t, we are disappointed, or we see ourselves as a failure. Expectations set us up to fail. One of the factors that help us build confidence is preparation…being ready. I talk to athletes all the time about this. And I realized in the Giant the other day, that dad understood the concept. I noticed he didn’t say anything about expecting little Maddy to throw a fit because she wanted the caramel apple kit. He said… “I should have been ready for it.”

We never know how those we love will react to news we tell them, good or bad, or when we do something they may or may not agree with. If we expect something and we get the opposite, we are often disappointed. When we are just there, accepting of whatever the response is… ready to hear it, regardless of what it is… we will never be disappointed.

I have learned to really make that a way of life. No expectations.

But I am ready.

As is Maddy, to make those special apples.

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