The other day I had a conversation with a friend about expectations. We were chatting about when we expect something to go a certain way and it doesn’t that we become disappointed. She was sharing with me a weekend she had all planned out and then her son caught strep throat. That completely changed the entire weekend plans and she said that she was really bummed but was going to GO WITH THE FLOW!
WHY DO WE HOLD SUCH HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR THE WAY THINGS SHOULD GO?
Have you watched children? They are so good at GOING WITH THE FLOW as they often live one moment at at time. We all have done this when we were younger. Now that we are adults we usually plan ahead even by the minute. (Yes I have done that once I had kids starting with their sleep schedule.) My brother used to make fun of me of how much time “ruled” our lives. That was true but I will tell you…my kids are ROCK STAR SLEEPERS so that paid off!
NOW GOING BACK TO THE FLOW!!!
Today I had the opportunity to attend the ASPEN IDEAS FESTIVAL that happens every year. It is a full day of talks and it comes with having to set up some things behind the scenes. Yep..I’m talking about KIDS! I can’t just take off and be gone all day. I have to figure out what the kids are doing and also the puppy we recently got.
Originally my plan was to have a babysitter come over for the day.
EASY PEASY RIGHT?
HA! Well, I decided to complicate it a little bit by adding a fly fishing class in the afternoon at the local library for my 11 year old daughter. A friend signed up with her and I had to ask the mom of that friend if she could pick up my daughter. Then my son and the puppy will be home with the sitter until I return. Well, here comes another curve ball. The pool birthday party my son was supposed to go to on Sunday was moved to Monday afternoon because of the weather. Now I have to find someone to take him to the pool and hang out. (yep, I like to have eyes on him even though there are life guards.) Yay for Mom living so close she would pick up the little boy and hang at the pool. Ok, so that is taken care of and the babysitter can ride her bike so when the boy leaves she can ride home.
NOW I AM SET! EVERYTHING IS SCHEDULED AND I EXPECT IT WILL ALL WORK OUT!
Not so FAST!!! Just to make it more COMPLICATED, let’s add a SLEEPOVER to the mix with both kids. Sure, why not? Now I have to figure out how to get them home by 8:00 so I can leave. Yikes that is EARLY!
WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?!
After making more plans for getting the kids back home for the babysitter, I finally had everything set and ready to go. PHEW!!
On my way down to Aspen I looked at my friend who I was with, whose daughter was babysitting my kids, and said, “Why do I have to add to an already busy day and make it more complicated with a sleepover? I have everything planned and lined up. It will be great if everything works out well! If not, oh well. I just have to GO WITH THE FLOW!”
During our day we both checked our phones periodically for calls or texts and kept saying, “No news is good news.” Needless to say, everything worked out EXACTLY the way I had it all planned out. It truly couldn’t have been any better. With that being said, I was mentally prepared and ready if something didn’t go as I EXPECTED because I kept telling myself, “Just go with the flow.”
Why am I writing about this? Did you know there are actual benefits of GOING WITH THE FLOWd? I didn’t until I researched a bit. Here they are:
- Flexibility-We learn to be more flexible. If we are always running on a tight schedule, we have no room for flexibility and as we know, life is unpredictable. If we learn to be more flexible, we can handle the unpredictabilities much better.*
- Gaining Insights-Sometimes doing something out of the ordinary brings new opportunities, insights and learnings to us. If we always follow our schedule we miss out on this.*
- Acceptance-When we learn to go with the flow, we become more accepting of life’s unpredictability. We won’t spend so much time wondering, “What if?”*
- Less Frustration– When things don’t go the way we expect we get frustrated, angry, stressed and it causes unwanted emotions. Going with the flow brings much more calmness and lessens our frustrations.*
Looking back at my most recent experience there were so many curve balls that could have come up and as much as I would have been disappointed, I am teaching myself to accept whatever those curve balls are and to just “Go with the Flow,” mentally preparing myself to be accepting of it and latching onto the benefits as I know they are worth it.
Are you someone who plans in advance expecting things to go the way you planned? What happens when they don’t? Or are you someone who usually goes with the flow?
Looking forward to hearing from you!
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*Amanda Knowles: https://growthfreaks.com/go-with-the-flow-benefits/