Great Expectations

*A Coaching Lesson

You know how something happens and it stays with you, it bothers you.  That loop starts playing in your monkey 
mind, going around and around?

I was out to dinner a few weeks ago with girlfriends.  I had had a long day and was looking forward to having a delicious drink.  My drink of choice always involves Vodka, more often than not Tito's, with variations of other ingredients such as ~ a splash of cranberry juice and muddled mint (I have a slight obsession with mint), possibly a cucumber mint martini or some kind of vodka infusion, like a Stoli doli (vodka seeped in pineapples).  On this occasion I ordered whatever the name of the drink was that had vodka, elderflower, tonic and fresh lime.  I asked for it without the tonic.  I don't like bubbles and it takes the drink in another direction.  We waited a ridiculously long time for the drinks to come and when they did come, I asked the waitress, is there tonic in whatever the name of the drink was?  She responded no.  I said, "There are bubbles."  She took it away but came back quickly about to put the drink down in front of me again and said, 
"The bartender gave you a splash of soda, instead of tonic."  I asked her to take it back and have the bartender make me the drink with NO BUBBLES.  I must have said it with a slight attitude.  When I asked for the drink with no tonic, I assumed he was including all the other ingredients and just omitting the tonic, not taking it upon himself to add an ingredient that was not even included in the drink.  It did not occur to me to say "and nothing else" when ordering.  You don't order an omelette for example off the menu that reads spinach, mushroom, and American cheese and say, "I'd like it with spinach, mushroom and no American cheese."  Then the omelette comes and it has spinach, mushroom and mozzarella cheese.  This made no sense to me!  I told the lovely waitress with the drink in her hand to take it back.  I didn't want it anymore.  I felt so disappointed.  Honestly, it was an easy fix and a silly misunderstanding, but my disappointment over rode my intellect in that moment.

My girlfriend turned to me and said I was rude to the waitress.  I felt terrible!  I didn't mean to be rude to the waitress.  That was not my intention.  I don't want to be that person that is rude to waitstaff:  Ever!  Hell, I was a waitress for years and it's a hard job.  Why was I rude to the waitress?  For two days it played out in my mind.  What could I have done differently?  Why did I handle the situation the way I did?  I  don't want to be the person who brings that kind of energy into a situation. Why, why, why?  It was honestly ridiculous that I was obsessing about this for so long.

AHA!  The reason was UNMET EXPECTATIONS.  I was expecting a drink just the way I like it. That was my mistake.  Of course when something little and seemingly insignificant like this scenario occurs, it is always indicative of a bigger issue.  By Jones I think I've got it!  I am more often than not disappointed when I have an expectation about something, anything, and it is not fulfilled the way I wish it should be.  This is not a new conversation that I have with myself and is fairly common for most of us.   I have to learn to let it go, not become focused on what is not working but on what I can control and how it can work for me.  It was just a perfect little metaphor showing itself in an unexpected way. 

 People do not bend to our will.  Places and things just are what they are. There is no conspiracy to "piss us off" or cosmically conspire against us.  When expectations are not met, disappointment or frustration set in and we just have to do our best to turn our thoughts around, tell ourselves a different story.  Things happen for us, not to us.  I guess I needed a little reminder.

I need to work on replacing expectation with appreciation.  Do you?  This is not uncommon.  I may make a similar mistake in the future, but I have an awareness now that I did not have before.  I will hopefully recall this situation, behave differently, thereby not allowing this to happen again.  There's the growth!  When you know better you can do better!


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