I have never been accused of being too observant. I once lived in an apartment for a year and as I was moving out I realized that the hot and cold water was switched in the downstairs bathroom. For a whole year, I had just assumed the water took a really long time to heat up, and I wasn’t patient enough to wait for hot water. After I realized they were switched I laughed at my silliness. I didn’t hold it against myself. In fact, I held on to it so that I could laugh at myself about it later.
Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.
What makes the difference in how we respond to situations? Why do some people enjoy the rain? Often times I think it relates to our expectations. If I go to a baseball game knowing the forecast is calling for rain, I have factored that information into my plan for the evening. I didn’t curl my hair or put on my lightest t-shirt. I put my hair in a ponytail, grabbed a hoodie, and a blanket to sit on. I expect to come home looking like a drowned cat, so when I see a big puddle of water I don’t hesitate to jump. I can let loose and enjoy the experience. However, if I was planning on going to the game for one inning before meeting friends at the museum, I am going to be incredibly frustrated when it starts to rain. I’m wet and cold and not looking forward to showing up with mascara streaked down my cheeks. My expectation has been ruined.
I once heard the saying that happiness = reality – expectations. I love this concept. This isn’t to say life should be devoid of expectations. Expectations are what help us reach for higher things. However, expectations shouldn’t be set in stone. Maybe plan A didn’t work. Instead of flipping the drawing board over, consider working through plans B-F. Work until you can arrive at a plan that works for now.
At the end of the day, it is all about choice. How you choose to respond to unexpected events. If you can be flexible in your choice, or choose to get to wet.