Releasing Expectations



This past weekend, I joined a friend and her daughter on a trek to my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

My friend’s daughter had been accepted at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University summer theater group. They had never been to Pittsburgh before so I offered to go along to show them the way. (There is no rhyme or reason to the streets in Pittsburgh and it can be quite daunting to navigate).

My expectations were that we would travel as my family travels when we drive to Pittsburgh.

Knowing what a long drive it is, we focus with laser-like intensity on one goal: getting there. We make as little stops as possible. If we stop to eat, it is strictly fast food. Sometimes we don’t even bother to get out of the car. We just go through the drive-thru and eat in the car as we whiz down the highway.

(There are also some in my family…perhaps someone who is writing this blog…who sometimes tends to take the speed limits as suggestions and perhaps occasionally may go a tad faster than the posted signs allow).

That isn’t what happened on this trip.

The pace was leisurely, unhurried. Every meal was at a sit-down restaurant. There was a visit with another family. There were sightseeing and photo opportunities. And the speed limit was observed rigorously.


It was really quite lovely and I enjoyed it a lot.


However, at first, I was extremely freaked out.

My thoughts went along these lines: ” What are we doing?! We have such a long drive ahead of us! We don’t have time for this!!!” 

I texted my husband about the latest turn of events and this was his response: “Look at it as a chance to practice not being in control.”

Not exactly what a Type A person wants to hear.

But it was exactly what I needed to hear.

As we meandered along the highways and byways of Pennsylvania, I thought a lot about expectations. Expectations have a unique power to cause tension in relationships, sour an attitude, ruin a situation, and create unrest and unease. Expectations can choke joy.

How tightly do you hold onto your expectations? How willing are you to let them go…and perhaps discover a detour that delights your soul?

A wonderful gift may not be wrapped as you expect.”—Jonathan Lockwood Huie. 

There is a time in all our lives when we have just sit back and enjoy the ride.

The truth is, the ONLY thing that we can control is our own attitudes.

I was not in the driver’s seat during this trip. I was strictly a passenger. So, I accepted my role…and immediately relaxed. I was along for the ride and I intended to enjoy the journey.

Even when we got to  the hotel in the middle of the city after midnight. Did I mention that there was a water main break, which did not allow us to shower?

Good times. 🙂



1 Comment

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One response to “Releasing Expectations

  1. Loved your husband’s succinct, spot-on reply and your surrender to it! What beautiful things! Great post! Thank you for sharing!

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