Expectations, Hope, and Disappointments

I am obsessed with becoming a woman comfortable in her own skin. -lexichelle.com

I ran. And I ran. And I ran. And I ran some more. A week and a half ago I raced my half marathon. 13.1 miles. 21 K’s. It was so anti climatic. Didn’t expect me to say that? Me neither. I live in this tension of loving getting excited about things and dreaming about what could be and then living in disappointment when it doesn’t go as planned. Oh, I know not to do this, I know that expectations kill joy and often relationships. But I just love to dream about “what if,” about the joy that will come, the happiness that will ensue.

I have wrestled with this concept many times in life. I just can’t seem to be okay with not hoping. There is something indescribable that happens when I look forward to an event or a vacation or an experience. I daydream, I plan, I anticipate. And. I. Love. It.

Although I trained for four months for those thirteen miles, I realised I was dreaming about the finish. It’s not a bad idea to picture yourself accomplishing the task or goal you hope for, some people even recommend that practice. This time it backfired a bit. I finished the race as strong as possible after stumbling upon two massive (well they looked and felt massive after almost two hours of running) hills at the end. I was close to the finish line but the course was poorly laid out so each corner I turned I wondered how much farther. As I saw the clock and massive finish line I gave it all I had because I saw I could make it under my goal. I nearly collapsed when I finished but I made it. My husband and two year old were waiting at the end along with a couple friends that cheered me on. There was also a huge sausage sizzle/BBQ right at the finish line. Don’t get me wrong I love sausages a lot, but not after running two hours and thirteen minutes. Gross.

Just like that it was over. We drove home and I was not feeling good. It was as if my body couldn’t recover. Which means my glorious day of lazily hanging around the house, enjoying my accomplishment, watching movies with my family and then ending with a huge pizza dinner didn’t happen. I was either dehydrated or caught a tummy bug. I will spare you details but it wasn’t pretty.

It’s funny how the expectation of the day of my race was dashed and I was so irritated. It wasn’t until later in the week I was even glad I did the race or proud of my accomplishment. I do this a lot. Maybe it doesn’t take me a week to see the good, but sometimes it does. Sometimes quite longer. It’s the tension. If I wouldn’t picture and dream of what could be I would most likely be fine. But I just can’t. It’s not who I want to be or how I want to live. I hate the disappointment. I really do. But I LOVE dreaming and hoping. I felt really disappointed about something else today. My heart was heavy and I was sad. It came after dreaming and hoping and just didn’t end how I hoped. But the two weeks I spent dreaming and planning was fun, life giving, soul encouraging. It hurt today but that will ease eventually. The dreaming might be for another season, it might be helping me exercise my heart, it might just be for fun and a break from reality. Everyone does life different but I can’t give up the hoping and dreaming for the sake of curbing disappointment. It’s just not worth it to me.

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