Summer in Ireland is a glorious time. The soft heat of the summer sun, greens so brilliant they are blinding, big burly truckers driving around with soft serve ice cream cones like kids at Christmas. Yes, summer in Ireland is glorious...except when it's not. The first summer we lived here was amazing. Shorts and tanks tops ruled June and July. We were at the beach more times than I can count. We lived with the windows open and our feet bare. It was, you guessed it, glorious.
Every summer since? Not so much. This year looked promising and we were all counting the days until school was out, getting all of our summer gear and clothing dusted off and ready. Yeah...I can count the glorious days on one hand. The rest have been cold and wet, and sometimes windy. Today, for instance, we have gale force winds and I'm wearing my thickest slipper socks as I mope around the house griping
in my head about anything and everything.
Why is this "summer" weather bothering me so much? Expectations. I expected it to be a proper summer. I expected the kids to be able to play outside everyday. I expected to let my desert rat feet run bare instead of be jammed into stuffy slippers. My expectations have gone unmet and I'm having trouble adapting, and it's ruining my summer!
If I stop to think about it, though, it's really not so bad. If it wasn't chilly and rainy, I wouldn't have played that Candy Land tournament with my kids...three times. I wouldn't have spent that time snuggling on the couch reading with my 4 year old, rejoicing as she sounded out some of her first words. There have been some huge blessings in those unmet expectations. Yes, we miss the evening walks up our road, chatting with our neighbor as she tends her amazing garden. There are things we can't do in yucky weather, but there is joy that can come from unmet expectations, if we let it.
Where are your expectations today? What is dragging you down because it didn't go exactly as planned? (the baby didn't nap so you couldn't finish that project - again? Story time at the library canceled without notice? The store out of the one ingredient needed to make the dinner on tonight's menu?) Take a moment to look around and see what hidden blessings lie within today's unmet expectations.
Image courtesy of Deibel Photography