• Expectations: Bigger isn’t always better

  • I see it everyday in military life. Disappointment from expectations that miss the mark. People build things up in their mind and are disappointed when what they have envisioned doesn’t actually occur. We plan for the perfect deployment homecoming only to wait for hours in a staging area running after impatient kids. We spend weeks coordinating the perfect special event only to spend it without our service member. And often our expectations fall short of the reality that is our life.

    I  remember years ago hearing my mother say to my father “Jack, don’t build it up in your mind”. It was as if she knew that he would be disappointed when his expectations didn’t turn out just as he had hoped. My father always wanted the bigger events and moments with us kids to be  a “once in a lifetime”.  He would contemplate the reactions we would have and anticipate that every experience would “create amazing memories” which we would talk about for years to come. And when his expectations were different from the reality he felt like disappointed.

    I didn’t get it then, but I can see it clearly now in the many folds of my life.  Friends, family, clients, military and civilian alike all falling into the trap of having to out do and create bigger and bigger events or it isn’t fun, worthwhile or important. They want to top the last vacation, holiday, date, homecoming,  celebration, even the last relationship. And because it’s never big enough we feel as though we fall short. We create expectations that are far from realistic and therefore we lose something very important.

    When we constantly try to “Go Big Or Go Home”, we lose the value of “being in the moment”. We lose the importance of building relationships that have true meaning by experiencing life together.  Some of the most connective moments that I have ever had are the moments that are quiet, spontaneous and hold no expectations.  It is  then that I am able to experience life in its entirety.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love (and need) fun and excitement sometimes.  I also know that life doesn’t have to be big or perfectly designed in order to “create memories”. In striving to create a picture perfect, or Facebook perfect life, we can lose out on some of the best moments. Expectations are fine when they don’t replace spontaneity.

    So stop expecting and start living!


    ~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up  and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com

  • From the moment you hear a heartbeat, the enormity of what lies ahead hits you full on and mom stress becomes a real thing. Whether it’s your first or fifth time becoming a new mom it is always a challenge. A new family member changes everything and brings with it a new normal that over time will unfold naturally. But what do you do when you are sleep deprived and unsure whether it’s day [...]

    Read more

    Today's post is from guest Sylvia Smith who shares how to heal from a toxic relationship. While she approaches it from the relationship perspective, her tips can apply to toxic friendships as well! Toxic relationships are unfortunately widespread and can be damaging to your health both physically and mentally. These abusive relationships are usually rife with emotional abuse resulting in low [...]

    Read more

    “Everyone deserves to realize their fullest potential toward health and well-being, and good mental health care is essential to this”. Dr. Arpan Waghray of Providence St. Joseph Health is also spot on in this video discussing the importance of integrated care toward long-term overall health. The future of healthcare must challenge the way we look at patients and begin integrating [...]

    Read more

    As I browse my social media feeds I notice so many people are fed up and unsure of the direction of their lives. It reminded me of a post I wrote a couple of years ago when my son was stressed about what he would do with his life. Fast forward nothing he even considered was to be his path; life took him in a totally different direction. And it's more than ok not only for him, but for any of us [...]

    Read more

    You may have noticed I've been a little quiet lately.  Between the passing of my mother-in-law, supporting my husband, handling military life and dealing with all the feelings of my own, I haven't had the focus to do much else than the bare necessities. And I have been feeling guilty for taking a much-needed time out from anything that drains me physically or emotionally and just staying in my[...]

    Read more

    Sometimes as we traverse military life it can feel as though we live separately from the outside world. We have our own lingo, we take pride in things others take for granted and our day to day challenges are very different from our civilian counterparts. Because of this we need to build stronger coping skills and hone our self care strategies so that we are prepared - especially for the stuff[...]

    Read more

    1 of page 31