In a few days, my family and I will be going on our first vacation together in at least four years, and our first flight together in 8 years. Our son was two feet shorter back then. Now that we’re all over 6 feet tall, we will not be sitting three in a row unless there’s an aisle between us! To say that I have been excited to go somewhere warm and away from work for a few days is an understatement. BUT, I am also trying to tamp down my expectations.

This is the first week I’ll be away from my work without having a full staff at my library. I take my responsibility as the director of a small library very seriously. This community counts on me and the library to provide them with not only a place to “be” and go to, but to provide a wide range of services. That, in itself, can be problematic since our role as the library has increased responsibilities or rather increased expectations from the community, yet without an increased staff or budget. But you know what? That is a discussion for a different day. Instead, let me just say that I’ll be worried about my staff and volunteers while I’m gone. They are incredibly good, kind people, but as many of you know, working with the public can be very stressful–even with kind, well-intentioned patrons. I have supplied the staff with loads of candy, lots of instructions for weird things that could happen, and my cell phone number. Really that’s all I can do, right? That and have faith and confidence in their abilities.

Which I most definitely do.

So why the hell am I worrying?

Now as the actual vacation goes, that’s a crapshoot. There will be lots of visiting my husband’s family, a little sightseeing, and hopefully some relaxing alone time, pool time and running time. But again, I must lower my expectations. Some plans have already changed and I need to just let it all go. Deep breaths, go with the flow, at least I’m not in a war zone, first world problems, etc.

But for just a minute, I’m going to whine and bitch and wish that for the first vacation I’ve taken in years, I could truly relax and not think about much except myself and my own joy. Am I selfish? Not always, but sometimes yes damn it, I am! And you should be, too. For a day or a week, it’s ok to think about JUST yourself so you can think about and take care of every other fucking person around you for the rest of the year. Call it self-care or survival, but it’s something we all need to do sometimes.

So…maybe for one day in the next week, I will do just that. I’ll take a day for me and only me. And if not? I have a therapy session all set to go the day I get back from vacation.

Cheers to all of you, friends. Thank you for listening to my bitch post, because that’s really all this was. If you take nothing else from it, just take my gratitude for being here. I know there are so many horrible things happening in the world and this country and to my friends to be honest, but sometimes it’s also ok to just sit in your own shit for a minute. Then you pick yourself up, clean yourself off, and keep going. ❤ And now that I’ve sat in my shit for more than a few minutes, I can move on. Hugs to you all.

The Key to Happiness

Have you ever started reading a book that a good friend recommended, a book they were completely ga-ga over, then realized by page 50 that you *hated* the book? Or have you ever been so excited to see a movie, the one that you’ve been waiting for over a year to see, that after you see it you desperately wish you could get those two hours back because it was one of the worst things you had ever seen?

We’ve all been in these situations, haven’t we? So how do we possibly prevent them from happening?


Lower your expectations.


About two years ago, I wrote a blog post about having high expectations and wanting everything to be wonderful and Disney-like.  I even mentioned a vacation I was about to go on, hoping it would be lovely weather–which it wasn’t. It was in Florida and it rained or was cloudy nearly every day. I was pretty pissed, and honestly, foolish! It may be the Sunshine State, but it doesn’t mean it’s sunny every single day (especially when I roll into town!). If I had only just kept my wants to a minimum–want to be away for a week, want to rest, want to not work. That’s it. If I had lowered my expectations: if I just expected my son and husband to argue, if I expected my husband to not want to do anything, if I expected the sun to not show its face again–then I would have been very happy.

People always say, “If you expect the worst to happen, then it probably will.” Well you know what? When I expect the worst, do you know how happy I am when something good happens?


For example, I recently facilitated a book discussion at my library. We all read books by a not well-known Maine author. Admittedly, when I’m reading a Maine author I know little about, I immediately think it’s going to be bad. You might not think that’s a good thing to do, but when you’ve read a lot of bad literature it comes with the territory. So, I had very low expectations for this author. But you know what? The book wasn’t bad! It wasn’t great but it wasn’t horrible. I actually enjoyed reading it. BUT, if I went into it thinking,”This is going to be such a great novel!”, I never would have made it past page 30.

The only problem with my new way of thinking, is that I can’t seem to lower my expectations when it comes to people. And this is when I should lower them to subterranean levels. I can’t believe how much I’m constantly disappointed by human beings. But I shouldn’t be. No one is perfect, and although I am completely aware of that fact, I still wish it wasn’t true.

But really no one has to be perfect, either. I just want them to do what I know they can, to live up to their potential. Hell, I’d be happy if people would stop being assholes.

But see? Right there. I need to lower my expectations and realize that there will always be jerks in the world. There will always be people hating people for stupid reasons. Which is why someday, instead of aliens arriving to destroy the human race like in Avengers, we humans will just destroy ourselves and the planet we live on. Apparently there are no super heroes or meta humans or any other cool beings out there to save us from ourselves.

And doesn’t that suck?

Yet if we don’t destroy ourselves, I’ll be so happy and surprised because I thought we were doomed. And if we do self-combust like I think we will?

Well…I’ll be happy then, too, because I was right.