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Expectations and Choices

Every year pretty close to my birthday these awesome pink lilies pop up out of the ground.  My parents always called them my birthday flower.  I expect to see them every year.  A few years ago, I planted a bunch in my yard, expecting that in my 50’s I would be surrounded with these flowers.  I waited expectantly.  This year 2 popped up.  Not quite what I expected.  At first, I was disappointed.  But then it seems everywhere I go, I’m seeing these flowers.  They might not be in my yard, but they are popping up everywhere…along my morning dog walking path, in my parent’s front yard, on the way to hockey. 

2020 certainly isn’t going as I expected either.  Let’s just say there have been a few cancellations, delays, fears, rearranging furniture, accidents, and new house mates.  None of these things were expected.  Sometimes I just rolled with it, but lately I’ve been stuck in a funk.  I’ve been angry, resentful and bitter.  In this state, I planned to spend my birthday with my head in the sand, hiding out by myself until it was over.  Then something unexpected happened.  A girlfriend left a package on my doorstep.  Another girlfriend called.  A few friends from my past made connections with me.  A family member dropped off something I needed and another one sat with me, asked just the right questions and listened, and I had breakfast with my birthday twin.  It was just like my birthday flower.  It wasn’t what I expected, but it popped up all around me anyway. 

I remember having a similar experience a few years ago.  My husband lost his job, we moved, and our dog died, but for some reason I chose to take care of myself and my family. Some surprising things happened.  Four students let me teach them, and I learned a lot because of those 4.  I even set out to write a book about the experience and share the steps I had learned to bring out the best in yourself and others through Play, Practice, Purpose and Promise. 

Lately, I’ve been doing the complete opposite.  I’ve been expecting the worst and choosing to look for obstacles.  I’ve complained about how my expectations weren’t being met rather than making the choice to look for new opportunities. Today, I choose to flip the switch. It’s time for a new start. After all, it is my birthday.

For me my birthday and the start of the school year is like New Year’s.  It’s a time for new beginnings.  I know many families are starting this school year with various expectations.  Much of what we expect school to be like has changed.  We don’t know what it will be like, how it will work, or what choices to make.  There are many things out of control.  But in the midst of all of this, we still have a choice.  We can be disappointed that our flowers never bloomed or expect them to pop up in new places.  My book is not ready, but my story and what I learned is ready.  Because of 4 might just be the surprise that’s needed right now.  I wrote it for teachers to share how we can connect with students and bring out the best in them.  In this crazy time, teachers need this, but so do parents who are having to take on some of the teaching role too.  Although I can’t deliver my book, I can provide opportunities for parents and teachers to be inspired and motivated to expect more and chose to thrive despite the chaos and challenges surrounding us.  I can share the parts that are ready and resources I have discovered. I didn’t expect to do it this way, but I’m choosing to embrace this opportunity and give what I can to help all of us be more. Wait till you discover all of the great things I learned Because of 4! Keep an eye out on my website….hope is about to pop up and surprise you! 

And hey…it’s my birthday…It’s a great reason to join my subscriber list and make sure you are the first to get all of the surprises I’m about to share!

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