I’m very excited to again this week join a talented group of women who connect each Friday in an online, unedited flash mob free write based on a one-word prompt from our fearless leader Kate Motaung. My timer is set for 5 minutes; let’s see where the word “expect” takes me.

I doubt there’s a person alive who can, after pausing to consider where they are and what their life is like, say that they are exactly where they thought they would be at this point in their life and everything is just as they expected it to be.

Life simply doesn’t turn out the way we expect, does it?

Sometimes the unexpected is welcome. The individual who finds him/herself in a career they never would have dreamed of. The couple who discovers that, despite their worst fears and expectations, they can not only retire comfortably, they can retire at a younger age than they had anticipated. 

Sadly, the unexpected can bring with it pain and sorrow. The loss of a loved one or a job or a home; a chronic physical condition that significantly alters a person’s quality of life; the loss of a long-cherished dream of being a biological parent. 

Focusing on the shattered expectation, squandering the unexpected windfall . . . both are unhealthy.

It doesn’t matter whether reality exceeds or doesn’t meet our expectations; either way, the unexpected requires adjustments and adaptation. 

The unexpected requires that we prayerfully and honestly and open-mindedly consider how to live on the new course our life has taken. 

The individual whose physical condition limits their mobility must decide how to spend the time that was previously spent going to work, out with friends, etc. 

The couple who discovers they have unexpected financial resources has the privilege of deciding how best they can utilize those funds.

So . . . where am I today? Where are you? 

Bitterly dwelling on unrealized expectations?

Thoughtlessly and even recklessly throwing away a windfall?

Stop . . . evaluate . . . adjust . . . adapt 

                prayerfully, thoughtfully, gratefully.