I know this will come as a shock to most of you, but a solar eclipse is happening today. Yep, today. Right through Hiawatha, KS. For a whole two and a half minutes we will experience total eclipse magic. And I fully expect it to be magical.
But all this eclipse talk had me thinking about expectations and how sometimes our expectations of amazing-ness get in the way of really great experiences. The roots often lie in perfectionism. As a recovering perfectionist myself, I understand this line of thinking all to well. It’s a chain reaction that starts with setting an impossibly high standard, feeling anxious about not being able to meet it, and then either working really hard to attempt to meet it or completely avoiding it altogether.
The whole experience can seem like a waste because it didn’t go perfectly.
It’s the family holiday where someone didn’t attend. The scale that doesn’t say the number you’d like. The wedding where the flowers showed up all wrong. The job where you didn’t get the promotion. The marriage where one’s partner makes mistakes.
All of these things and infinitely more.
I hope you get a chance to see the eclipse today. Maybe it will be absolute eclipse-ical magic. Or maybe it won’t be quite as magical as anticipated. Most likely it will be something in between. A more realistic expectation might be that it will be “really cool.” That’s what I’m shooting for. That way when my child needs to go potty one minute before the two and a half minutes of amazing, and we forget to take a family photo the entire day, and the traffic is crazy, and we can’t actually get into any restaurant after the whole thing is over…I’ll remember that the half a minute I did get to see was really cool rather than stressing about all the ways it didn’t go perfectly.
Because I feel pretty confident that it will be “really cool.”