The Expectation Hangover

Have you ever had one of those days? Just one of those really crappy days….like from the minute you open your little eyes when the alarm goes off to the minute you get back into bed?

Let me take you on a (hypothetical of course) journey of one of those crappy days …..

So lets say its Friday, your alarm goes off as per usual at 6am. Usually you can get your feet to land on the floor before your brain kicks in and tells you to just stay in bed for 5 more minutes. But its been a mighty long week and your brain has kicked in far too early, so you hit snooze a few more times before getting up. Now you are behind time, and low and behold its pouring down outside, and you have to walk the dogs before work. So off you pop and return back home, like three drowned rats. You walk in through the front door and of course the dogs decide to shake off all their excess water onto your freshly painted white walls. AARRGGHH. Ok – you can deal with that later….its Friday afterall. Then two full days of freedom. Boom.

You sort out the dogs, sort yourself out and even have time to make your hubby a spot of breakfast, don’t worry, you’ve got this. You get into work, attend your usual Friday meeting without drinking yourself into a caffeinated frenzy and head off to complete your list of tasks for today….until….it all goes wrong. Something kicks off, your work gets put on the backburner, your staff’s work gets put on the back burner, all your attention is taken up by something else. This appears to be like a domino affect, because one thing after another goes wrong. Not cool universe, not cool. Its Friday – I have an expectation to come in, get my work done, and get the hell outta there to enjoy my two days of hyggeness.

Ok, lets just breathe a little second. Put your game face on and realise your nearly there, weekend in sight. Actually don’t breathe, because you my friend have got another issue to deal with on a Friday at 4pm….which again means none, and I mean none, of your work has gotten done today and theres no immediate sight of leaving work (you getting the picture of how this hypothetical day is super crap?) Now, as you might imagine, this day may have you wanting to run for the hills, where a bucket of wine and a family size bar of chocolate awaits. But no, its Friday and you like to finish your week how you started – in the gym.

You ever hear the expression “work all that frustration out in the gym”? Well after such a day, that’s the only reasonable thing to do (or you could go get the bucket of wine and chocolate, I wouldn’t judge you). So you now have an expectation that you are going to go to the gym and give the best session of your life, because you now have a goal of getting rid of the stress of the day. What you think you need is a sweat inducing, heart rate raising, intense workout that would be feared by Arnold Schwarzenegger. But the reality is by the time you reach the gym, you’re pretty fatigued. the adrenaline of the day has now worn off and working out really actually isn’t what you feel like doing. but nonetheless – you are at the gym car park and you are going in. You end up doing an alright session, your muscles feel pretty tired and you giving yourself a pretty hard time because you didn’t give the session you expected and haven’t left feeling the way you expected.

As you have probably guessed, this is not hypothetical at all. That’s a real life scenario. Life can be stressful, end of. The reason I have told this story, is that I listened to a podcast by Mark Sisson & Christine Hassler, where she talks about her new book called The Expectation Hangover. This really struck a chord with me….because there are so many times, even in daily life, that we place certain expectations on ourselves, and when they don’t turn out or they don’t look like how we expect them too, we immediately give ourselves a super hard time….and I have a tendency to give myself a seriously hard time. Its literally an expectation hangover. Sometimes, when we set goals we need to realise that they may take a different shape and they may not always look the way we thought they might, or we may not reach them at all. As my coach always says – you showed up, that is a success. So, here are my words of wisdom for a Tuesday evening…..

Stop giving yourself a hard time.  Life is hard, don’t make it harder by placing unrealistic expectation on yourself, or becoming fixated on how that should look.  Celebrate just showing up. Celebrate reaching the smallest of goals and celebrate even harder when you reach the big goals….and if you are going to celebrate, make sure its with Prosecco.







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