Archives for posts with tag: expectations and assumptions

I woke with a headache and a stuffy head. A cold? Allergies? I’m not certain. Already there is uncertainty creeping into the day. I’m dealing with arthritis pain today, too, but… I’m not sure whether it is because the weather is chilly, or for some other reason. More uncertainty. I’m working through the final week at this job, ready to step into a role in a new place – there’s certainly (lol) no certainty about what that future experience will hold. Perspective matters; my sense of “certainty” is quite often simply a choice to favor one way of viewing circumstances over another, not really anything to do with what I do or don’t actually know. What do I even actually “know” with legitimate certainty? What do you “know”? How did you test and verify that knowledge? Or… did you simply sip it up with a cognitive straw based on what someone else said they “know”, and you’ve chosen to be fine with that? I mean… I can’t judge harshly on that. We all do it. Might be good to do that less, though…

I sit in a rainy forest, along a wet dirt road, near a puddle, listening to the rain fall, thinking things over… Well, not really… it’s a video, and a moment of reflection over coffee, is all. It’s “not real”… I mean, in the sense that I am not actually there. It’s quite real, inasmuch as it is a video of a real place and time. So… Moving on with the uncertainties…

I’d planned to walk the trail, but the park is still closed after the recent storms.

There’s a work day ahead. I also need to run to the store. These things feel “certain”. I mean, they’ll definitely happen, right? There are still a ton of assumptions that go into that carefully crafted feeling of certainty. I turn it over in my head, admiring my handiwork; that’s some careful craftwork, there. I feel comfortable with it, as “reality” goes. I’ll likely make choices and take actions that lead to those things coming to pass, more or less as expected.

…Expectations… Assumptions…

I breathe with the timer on my desktop, listening to the rain fall. In spite of my stuffy head, and in spite of my pain, and in spite of “life’s uncertainties” – which is, like, everything to do with living life – I feel pretty okay right now. That is a reality I can definitely embrace.

…Of course, I’ve still got to begin again. My results will continue to vary. All of that is okay, too. I’m just practicing. 😉

It snowed enough night before last to set the record straight on winter in my area; it’s a thing, and it means business! I worked from home yesterday, and will do so again today. I’m grateful I have that opportunity. The unsteady, swerve-y tracks in the snow report that at least one of my neighbors is not so fortunate. Some people make the choice to brave the poor driving conditions. Some people have to. Some people think they have to. Some people just do.

Eerie pre-dawn sky, on a snowy day.

Eerie pre-dawn sky, on a snowy day.

I had worked out a strategy with coworkers. We planned how to handle the inclement weather together, in advance. It was efficiently done. We’ll do it again that way today, figuring since it worked yesterday, it will therefore work today. As reasoning goes, it’s not the best, but we’re starting there nonetheless. The days in question are different in small ways already… Yesterday, I woke at 4, before my alarm went off. This morning, my alarm drags me from a deep sleep with considerable reluctance, groggy, and struggling to wake. Yesterday, there was no question this was necessary, from the moment the day begin. Today, although our plan seems likely to be well-chosen, I didn’t cross the city personally, yesterday, and don’t realistically know what it might be like to cross it today. The portion of guesswork is larger, although I suspect I will have chosen wisely… It’s hard to be  sure so early. Yesterday, my morning flowed smoothly although I wasn’t set up in advance. This morning, I am completely set up, but I stumble, often. I am having my own experience, and it varies. There’s probably a metaphor buried in all that snow.

I sip my coffee. Some things don’t change. lol

Today is a good day to approach each task with as much care as I did yesterday. Today is a good day to work efficiently, and to take care of this fragile vessel along the way. Today is a good day to give myself my undivided attention, at least now and then. Today is a good day to practice.

I woke ahead of the alarm by minutes, feeling rested, and not particularly groggy. The morning has proceeded with logical elegance from task to task, and my coffee is hot, tasty, and welcome. I have nothing much to say. In a life so rich with words much of the time, I guess that’s okay, too. 🙂

The week begins well, and that’s enough. I could use more time in my day, but the new work environment is one in which I thrive, and feel appreciated. I can’t complain about that – and the commute is not the longest one I’ve endured since moving to the area. My longest was the original commute I traveled daily for some 13 years without questioning it. Moving closer to work didn’t feel possible; my (ex) partner was unwilling to travel to and from school, and the result was having to choose between what I needed, and what she demanded. When she’d finished earning her degree, the expected shift in priorities “didn’t happen”. I did not yet understand that I would have to take care of me. I allowed life to go on, without choosing change, and did so for a very long time. Resentful, exhausted, neglected and unhappy, I trudged along in life surviving on wishful thinking and daydreams of a future that wasn’t likely – since I wasn’t building that. We become what we practice – and I was practicing some very different things then, than I do now.

My choices, even then, were vast and assorted, and had many potential outcomes. I didn’t see the whole of the menu, as though refusing to turn it over and see the rest of it, limiting myself to just “today’s specials” – which, as it happened, weren’t that damned special. I’m not bitching, I’m just making a point of pointing out that I carefully crafted the experience I was mired in, by refusing to choose a different one. My choices mattered greatly – and yes, I’ll go ahead and say so sooner than later, when I did start making different choices, some of my relationships were changed, and some ended (including a partnership of 15 years, and a job with a company I’d worked for, for 13 of those). Choices have consequences. Remember reality? Yeah – reality doesn’t care what we think we’re choosing. We are each having our own experience, each filtering that through our own perspective – reality doesn’t care about that, either.  😉

This is not actually a picture of a rainbow filling a building with gold, however much it may appear so.

What it appears to be does not change what it is.

Choice and change and verbs and perspective… it’s busy in here. I find myself pondering the “meaning of life”. It’s that sort of morning. A good morning for meditation as the sun rises, and a leisurely 2nd and 3rd coffee…and it’s also a work morning. I’ll watch the sun rise on foot, as I walk through downtown to the office. I’ll see it reflected, perhaps, on the city from the other side of the river, where I stop each morning to reflect on life, and take a picture. It is a moment of perspective with lasting value.


Giving myself time to reflect…


...allows my perspective to deepen...

…allows my perspective to deepen…


Giving myself time to reflect allows my perspective to deepen and change with experience.

…and change with experience.

We are each having our own experience. We choose a lot of it. We carefully craft a lot more of it within our thoughts, even sometimes avoiding confronting what differs from our so carefully crafted narrative. Expectations and assumptions can be built on accumulated experience of reality – but they don’t have to be, and often aren’t. I set myself up for failure when I build my expectations and assumptions on my internal narrative, without checking in with reality. Funny thing (maybe) that reality seems so much more variable than expectations and assumptions…

My mind wanders. I’m enjoying the morning over my coffee, listening to a freight train roar past on the other side of the park. I think of my traveling partner, and life and love and time; perhaps I shall see him this evening? Perhaps not until tomorrow. We have evening plans for Thursday, and I “know” I will see him then – is that an expectation? An assumption? Is it reality? Certainly it is planned…

A wordless moment of clarity... a picture as a metaphor.

A wordless moment of clarity… a picture as a metaphor.

Today is a good day to be present in this moment, here. I think I’ll go do that. (Your results may vary…)