The Perils of Vacation Anticipation

The Perils of Vacation Anticipation

It’s here, it’s finally here! It’s time for my family vacation, the one I’ve looked forward to for almost two years. Grandbaby Blakely Faye’s debut took priority last year, but we are back on track. If I’m lucky and my body is behaving, this will be the view from my room.

Vacation Day Break

Although I’m super excited about this vacation, an unexpected comment from one of my friends reined me in a bit. She, too, was looking forward to a family vacation, but took time to think through the realities. Prompted by a question from writer Jennie Allen, my friend admitted her vacation expectations may be too high. Allen’s question: “Where have you unknowingly let expectations rob you of joy?”

Yikes! That prompt landed hard on me, too.

Since our vacation spot is steeped in memories—ten years worth of special memories—I’d already begun inventorying each year, making a mental list of the things we should make sure to do again.

But Allen’s question gave me pause. Was I creating too many expectations? Would they rob me of joy?

It’s easy to let past experiences create our expectations, and yet the hard truth is that we can never recreate what was. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus reminds us,

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.

Vacation Night View

Yes! When I thought about it, I realized that memories are but a snapshot of a fixed time and place, rarely a clear blueprint for expectations. We can never plan fully for what we want our experiences to be as there are just too many variables. At best, we can plan and then welcome whatever reality greets us.

So, do I have plans for this vacation? OF COURSE I DO! I may be enlightened, but I’m still me. (Smile) And I still believe what my father taught me at an early age: “What’s planned is possible.”

However, I’m rethinking my expectations. I don’t want to miss out on one possibility of joy.

How about you? Have your expectations ever stolen the joy from your vacation? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best–always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. My book, Rethinking Possible: A Memoir of Resilience will be published June 13, 2017. Join me here for updates and special offers.

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