As I was sitting on my bed a couple of days ago, I thought to myself, "what makes something important to me and why is it not important to others?" Seriously though... Have you ever wondered that??
Yesterday, I went on a long motorcycle ride with my boyfriend and his dad. It was a lot of fun! I love going on rides. The scenery is beautiful, the wind feels so good as it blows past you, the music you listen to helps you feel calm, and ultimately, there is a lot of time for thinking. Lots of thinking.
We stopped a few times along the way to hunt gophers, look at wild animals, and view the scenery. Here's a little picture I took at the top of the mountain that we rode to:
Man is it beautiful here!!.... In the last sentence I mentioned hunting. I'm going to go back to this part because this activity is SOOO important to Dawson and his dad. They are always thrilled by talking about new guns, making sure they aim well, shooting at their target, etc. As a by-stander, I was thrilled to go on the ride, but could do without the hunting. I will participate and go, but I don't feel the same passion that Dawson and his dad do about hunting..... and I probably never will. So here I am just taking pictures with helmet hair as they're talking about hunting and building things - when a thought hit me.
Every person has different thought patterns and makes decisions based on previous experience, certain influences, or whatever they feel like deciding in that moment. With those thought patters come interests, hobbies, and things of importance. These are influenced by genetics, location, society, etc. In order to create a human being, there has to be a specific compilation of genetic make up and societal influence that has never been exactly experienced by anyone else in the same way.
Humans are so complicated that even just thinking that thought patterns and interests separate us is crazy. Because there are so many other things that separate us and make us unique human beings!!
So, here's my theory about why I love to play the violin, go to the movies, go shopping, write about my thoughts and why other people could care less about those four things. I was born and raised in a family who lived and breathed music, movies have been a hobby that I have chosen to have an interest in and I had access to go to them, shopping is something that I can do with friends and continually buy clothes that I love, and writing is something that helps me get my thoughts and feelings organized and let out. Were you looking for a more complicated answer? Sorry, I don't have one. Who really knows if those are the reason that I love those four things. They are really important to me though and that's who I am. Those four things have happened in my life as an opportunity to develop as a person and I took it. I am realizing that I am unique among these country people here in Montana because I grew up somewhere else. But you know what? They're all different too and that's what makes people and life so interesting.
So, even if I don't have the exact answer to why certain things are important to me and not to others, it's okay. I enjoy certain things that other people don't enjoy and vice versa. The variety of life that we have at our fingertips is amazing, and taking advantage of that and learning other peoples passions and exploring our own is all we can do to live a diverse and meaningful life.
What is disappointment? Why do we even get frustrated or mad? What are those things that tip us off? Disappointment is the result of an unmet expectation. We EXPECT that drivers should mind their own business and not cut us off or do anything stupid....so we get a little flustered when that happens. We EXPECT our 2 year old to keep her food on the table....okay, maybe we don't expect that anymore...but we used to. We EXPECT certain things from the people around us and then when they don't follow through we get annoyed, disappointed, or hurt. EXPECTATIONS! What if we just LOWERED them a bit? Wouldn't our life be soooo much better?
Don't get me wrong, lowering expectations can be taken in different ways. For example, we should not lower what we show we expect from our kids, colleagues, friends, etc... We should let our kids know that we expect certain things and try to help them learn and grow. BUT, in the process of learning and growing, even though we SAY we expect certain things, we should try our hardest to NOT expect those things...inwardly. Confusing enough? Here is an example:
I teach a family piano lessons and lately it has been REALLY hard to want to teach them...like I just want to quit, but can't because it's such a good gig money-wise...and we've got bills. The reason it's been hard to teach them is because THEY DON'T PRACTICE. As a music teacher, I expect my students to practice and I let them know that I have high expectations. I guess I just don't scare this family enough ;). Piano is not like soccer....you can't just show up. I've been at a loss lately because I always go expecting for them to have at least touched the piano since their last lesson....but hardly any of them have...trust me, I KNOW. Teachers can always tell. So, my new tactic is to lower my expectations. I still tell them what I expect of them and I have high expectations on the outside. On the inside, I try to tell myself "Okay Angela, before you teach them, realize, they probably haven't practiced, try to help them become better piano players anyways and don't get frustrated because you are only hurting yourself." It definitely has helped the last couple of times. I think it would help if I applied this in many other aspects of my life.
Wouldn't it be cool if we never had to face disappointment? What if everything in life was just another event, something that made us stronger. If we lower our expectations on most things especially the things we expect our kids or hubby's to do, our lives will run smoother, our love will grow deeper, and our happiness with be much greater. Let us all raise our expectations on the outside, but lower our expectations on the inside :)