© 2013 Aaron Atkinson

Not So Great Expectations

I get a lot of joy out of life from looking forward. I look forward to the weekends, to great restaurants, to vacations with Laura, to spectacular hunts with Indie, to fishing with my Dad and brother, and the list goes on and on. Anticipation is like the interest we earn on the planned investments of our time.

Like the return on an investment, sometimes the degree of expectation is misaligned with reality. And interestingly, my level of satisfaction has as almost much to do with my preconceived expectations as does with the actual outcome of the event.

Take the movies for example. Over the Christmas holiday we went to see the latest James Bond film. I’m a Bond fan. I’ve watched almost all of them and I think the last few have been quite well done. So as we entered the theater, my expectations for Skyfall were sky-high. And while it was a good movie, I must admit that I was a little disappointed. I expected a nine and I got a seven.

A few days later, we celebrated Laura’s birthday with dinner and a movie rental. Since it was her birthday, the movie choice was entirely hers. She picked What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I smiled and went along with it, but honestly my expectations were pretty low – maybe a three. And to my surprise, I really enjoyed it. I was ready for a three and I got a six.

While I still think Skyfall is a better movie, I must admit that, on account of my low expectations I enjoyed What to Expect When You’re Expecting more than I enjoyed Bond.

I didn’t know what I to expect, but I wasn’t expecting that.

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