Disappointment is never far away

Published 3:36 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The road map of life always includes unavoidable trips to “Disappointmentville.”

No matter how hard we strive to step around the ugly emotion, it always manages to knock on our door or rain on our parade. We feel deflated, disillusioned and frustrated at the outcome of an event.

The true test of our grit is how we deal with such adverse conditions.

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Our Who Dat nation has had a blow of disappointment this past weekend. The expectations of a season have finally come to a less than satisfactory conclusion, which in the past would have represented a glorious success for the New Orleans Saints. We have grown accustomed to winning.

The problem is with their winning the Super Bowl, higher expectations were created and with life, that is the recipe for disappointment.

There were seasons that if we had won as many as we had lost would have represented a good year. Thankfully, we are spoiled with success.

Sometimes we have high expectations in our relationships. We start off dating with high expectations, dreaming of Donny Osmond and settling for a real guy instead of a poster. Once in love, we stretch our expectations to include a Soap Opera-like grand wedding thinking that bigger is better. We build the happily ever after illusion of perfection that once reality settles in brings us a dose of disappointment. How high we build it up decides how far we eventually fall.

If we keep a real ideal of what marriage is between a couple, the ups and downs, the trials, the commitment to one another and strive to walk that road, then we can skip around the disappointment periods that a false fairy-tale life demands. Happiness can be obtained.

How? By accepting that one spouse wants to improve on the other spouse. By understanding that toilet seats and toothpaste caps are not tests of love. By embracing the imperfections and squelch the expectations. We must love unconditionally to truly deflate disappointment.

Once we build happy disappointment-proof marriages, then we procreate. There is much promise when we have our first child and secret wishes that this tiny, malleable baby will grow up to be something special, a great person who will do great things. Then, at two years old, we just hope they grow up. As they mature, we begin to accept the limitations and imperfections of our creation and love them just as they are. Slowly, we see that instead of a doctor, you will be happy with employed. Instead of president, you hope for teacher. Instead of Beyonce, you hope for church choir member.

I hope I have encouraged my sons to reach for the stars, to always try to improve themselves but to find success in loving what they do. The musician son may never be a Grammy winner, the ‘mathlete’ may never cure cancer, the sports enthusiast may never win the Super Bowl, and the lover of science may never climb Mt. Everest. I want them to be true to who they are and find something that will make them happy. I don’t need an occupation to brag on them. This is my son … end of story.

We should not push our expectations onto a child. Who wants to be the stage mom, or the Cheerleader mom that shoots the other girl for winning a competition over her daughter? We have to allow them to be the best they can be without measuring up to our higher standard or our path.

Sometimes the family business isn’t the child’s dream.

We can hope. We can nurture. We can teach. But, the child is born with free will and can choose to make disappointing mistakes along the way to adulthood. The fact that they do doesn’t mean we are disappointed in the child, but in the choices made. Love never disappoints.

Between sports, love, kids we are surrounded with opportunities of disappointment. How do we handle it? Do we make lemonade? Do we linger on the dark side of the moon? Do we go into denial?

Robert Kiyosaki  writes, “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.”

We all have a choice. We can take the punch of disappointment and get angry and smack back. Such as some Saint’s fans probably did on Saturday or we can accept the fact that not everyone gets to win. Mistakes were made, injuries, the fire in the belly was not there for our Who Dats this year. It is hard to be hungry after a delicious satisfying meal.

For those who can not accept? Here are a few tips to get over it.

You have a choice to focus on the terrible things about it or the opportunities the situation may have offered you. Acknowledge that you are feeling let down and look at the positives. Such as, it’s only a game. There is more to life than a playoff.

Some will console themselves drinking, while others will distract themselves; as long as you move on and get your thoughts away from your own pity party. Focus on something else that is good in your life.

As I watched the last seconds of our team lose, I felt saddened. Yet, I looked around and saw many blessings in my life and thought, we have a championship now. We are still winners and they can’t take that away from us.

I also thought, I hope those darn dirty birds don’t go all the way either! That would be really disappointing.

“Expect nothing and accept everything and you will never be disappointed,” Laurence Overmire.

Tracy Williams is a syndicated columnist. Become a fan on FaceBook at My Hometown Column.