Life lesson #13,772.
I’ve learned something important this year, and it is that few things can cause as much disappointment as our expectations and comparisons. We tend to envision in our minds how things are supposed to be, and often there is a wide gap between reality and our idealized version of how it’s supposed to be. There’s really only one thing you can do, and that is to let go of comparisons and expectations and simply deal with what is. When you do that — and I’m not totally at that place yet — you find a great deal more peace but also greater joy in the midst of your circumstances.
Alas, there’s a Rush song that describes this very scenario, a song called “How It Is” that they recorded for their “Vapor Trails” album back in 2002. I love the spirit of that album and run to it quite frequently, but I’d have to write a separate post to deal with “Vapor Trails” and the story behind it.
At any rate, Neil Peart writes and Geddy Lee sings:
Here’s a little trap
That sometimes catches everyone
When today’s as far as we can see
Faith in bright tomorrows
Giving way to resignation
That’s how it is
How it’s going to be
It’s such a cloudy day
Seems we’ll never see the sun
Or feel the day has possibilities
Frozen in the moment
The lack of imagination
Between how it is and how it ought to be