When Life Disappoints

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It’s bound to happen, we get disappointed.  Sometimes the disappointments are big and sometimes their small.  They may be due to circumstances beyond our control or they may be a person just let us down.  It doesn’t matter, it just sucks.

That’s how I’m feeling right now about my Christmas.  After so much planning, hard work and anticipation it fizzled out.  Like a wet firecracker.  We didn’t get to celebrate as a family because Mike’s relief at work called in sick so he needed to work a double.  On Christmas.  5am to 10pm.  Pretty disappointing.

While I was sitting here, looking out the window wallowing in self-pity, I happened to look at our neighbors house.  The neighbor whose 50 year old wife passed away three weeks ago after a two year battle with cancer.  I then started thinking about the wives and husbands who aren’t together because one of them is serving overseas.  The families who are eating their Christmas dinner (if they’re lucky enough to get one) in a homeless shelter.  I know, my disappointment seems a little petty doesn’t it?

When I find myself struggling with disappointment I try to shake off the doldrums and think of all the positives that this situation has brought:

  1. Christmas lasts longer  (we’ll have our celebration the day after Christmas)
  2. I didn’t have to rush to make a big turkey dinner after being at my in-laws and parents all day
  3. I get an extra day to wrap the last couple of presents that didn’t get done :)
  4. I got to spend a quiet evening by myself listening to Christmas music while wearing my Hot Booties (my As Seen On TV gift from my secret Santa) and eating Godiva Truffles (without having to share!)
  5. We’re going to have 8 more hours on Mike’s next paycheck to put towards my new closet – yeah!
  6. Mike has a good job and we’re thankful for the blessings it gives us

Disappointments are bound to happen, we can’t help them.  We are, however, able to help how we deal with them.  Focusing on the positive and counting our blessings (no matter how little they may seem) can help make the situation a little better.  When all else fails I try to remember that “this too shall pass”.  After all, in my case Christmas comes this time each year.

How do you deal with the disappointments that life throws at you?

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2 thoughts on “When Life Disappoints

  1. I know my disappointments are petty compared to other people’s disappointments. But when its the holidays and your relationship with your spouse is completely falling apart (as in my situation), its pretty disappointing. I try to be positive, but I have moments when I really get caught up in feeling bad for myself and I have to go be alone for a bit. I know with time things *could* improve, but it would mean me making more sacrifices and I have already made too many, can’t do it anymore. If I’m going to be a single parent, I want to do it alone vs. someone walking in and out when its convenient for them (and not taking any financial responsibility). Maybe like you say, we need to adjust our expectations and outlooks. But there is always that adjustment period – the period to mourn about the loss of what we wanted. I just try not to beat myself up too bad, and remind myself to be gentle. I can’t be my own worst enemy. Its only a blip in time, and hopefully there is more good than bad to look back and remember.

    • Michaela – I’m so sorry to hear about your marriage. Of course it’s disappointing, how could it not be. Yes, there are a lot of people who are in worse situations than you, and while it’s always good to keep it in perspective, it certainly doesn’t make your situation easier. Mourning is a normal course of any loss and it needs to be done at your own time and pace. It’s also important to remember that time does heal, it may leave a nasty scar but it does heal.

      Yes, we do sometimes need to adjust our expectations and outlook. While being a single parent is not what you planned, sometimes its what you must do. Your life is what you make of it. While there are some things you can’t change, you can choose to make the best of your situation. Give yourself some grace (we are our own worst enemies, aren’t we?) and know that you can rise to whatever challenge your life holds for you. Take care of yourself, I hope 2014 turns out to be a better year for you.