Great Expectations

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It’s not lost on me that the title of my post today is the same as Charles Dickens’s thirteenth novel. Though not even in the same stratosphere as Dickens, I know the feelings of great expectations. I suspect that many of my readers will identify with these same sentiments.

As we age and hopefully mature (that’s still debatable at age 63), most of us learn that there are times when what we hope will happen and what comes to fruition are two entirely different matters. Life is full of these moments.

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Who can forget that feeling as a child being so excited about Christmas that we couldn’t sleep the night before the big day? I recall lying in bed with my ears on high alert, waiting for any sound that indicated Santa and his reindeer were landing on our roof or the jolly fellow was nimbly squeezing his body down the narrow chimney. Our desire to believe was so strong that all rational thinking seemingly went out the window. How does a three-hundred-pound giant miraculously turn his body into the incredible shrinking man and deliver presents to all those houses?

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It doesn’t just happen once; we repeatedly fool ourselves. Birthdays, first dates, new jobs, and vacations were more opportunities to get ourselves worked up for outcomes that couldn’t possibly live up to our unrealistic expectations.

Disappointments are part of life. How we handle these moments is a test of our maturity. We can either wallow in self-pity or pick ourselves back up and try again.

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The psychological games we play in our minds are constant. When one of our vehicles needs work, I immediately assume the worst. They’re going to tell me I need a new engine. I’m not getting out of here without spending four figures. Then, when I discover that the repairs are only $300, I seemingly can’t wait to give the mechanic my credit card. Somehow, I’ve blocked out that the day before, I would have dreaded getting that bill.

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If we expect the grandiose, we’re often disappointed. As humans, our natural defense mechanism is to set our sights lower. It’s easier to go into any competition as the underdog. That way, if we don’t attain our goals, it’s simpler to rationalize. Nobody gave me a chance. I didn’t expect to win anyway. It’s our way of softening the blow.

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This past weekend I faced one of those psychological tests. I had been looking forward to getting together with a couple of old high school buddies (let’s hear it, Arcata Tigers, class of 1977) who I hadn’t seen in a while. We once lived a block apart and went to the same high school, but life takes people in different directions. Since Dave moved from California to Oklahoma two years ago, I’d only seen him once. Bruce and I had seen each other a couple of times in the last year, but the three of us hadn’t been together in a few years. There were bound to be plenty of stories, laughs, and more memories made.

Unfortunately, life had different ideas. I was supposed to drive five hours south on Friday for our reunion, but I started getting chills Thursday night. I could not get warm and went to bed that night with a slight fever. Things did not look promising. Among other things, we had planned on attending a baseball game together in San Francisco on Saturday. I’d already purchased the tickets, and they were on my phone.

When I awoke the following morning, I knew I would have to miss out on our get-together. In addition to my other symptoms, I woke up congested and noticed my sense of smell was off. Having managed to dodge Covid thus far, I thought it had finally caught up to me. I’m vaccinated and boosted, so I wasn’t worried about my health as much as I was about exposing risk to someone else. The logical first move was to take a Covid test (we had stored up a few home tests), which was negative. Still, I wasn’t feeling great, and I knew I didn’t want to pass on something to my friends. I sent them a text, shipped the tickets off to Bruce (cellphones come in so handy for stuff like this), and went to bed.

Dave, Bruce, and Joel (Bruce’s son)—pinch-hitting for me.)

My body was fighting something; I never needed to sleep during the day. I felt rundown and lacked energy. When I stood up, I was light-headed and dizzy. Despite the negative test, I was 90% sure I had Covid. While disappointed about not being able to enjoy the weekend with my friends, my expectations changed. I don’t have time for this. What about all the things I need to do next week? I wasn’t having a pity party, but the psychology had changed. Maybe I’ll have a mild case. Our anniversary is in a couple of weeks. Hopefully, I’ll be fine by then.

It’s now Wednesday, and I’m almost back to 100%. After three negative Covid tests, I’ve realized I probably had an old-fashioned bug. In the span of a few days, I’ve gone from feeling disappointed to feeling relieved. Isn’t that a metaphor for life?

While I don’t get excited for birthdays or Christmas anymore, something else will come along to replace those desires. We’re riding high these days, knowing our son will be getting married to a great gal next June. In the meantime, I will continue to set new goals for myself because expectations are those things that get us up in the morning. The beauty of life is that sometimes reality does live up to fantasy. We’ll continue to go through the highs and lows of life—that’s what we all do, but as an eternal optimist, I will continue to dream.

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104 thoughts on “Great Expectations

  1. Glad it wasn’t Covid! My expectations these days are a lot lower…try and stay out of trouble, and keep my loved ones safe. I do have a biggie though, as my brother is fighting for his life after a massive cardiac arrest, I am keeping my expectations for recovery high. Maybe it will help…

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 11:39 am

      Oh gosh, Margie. So sorry to hear about your brother. Hopefully, he is receiving the best care possible and makes a full recovery.

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      1. Thanks, Pete! Fingers and toes crossed!

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  2. Good to know that you’re feeling better and it wasn’t anything serious. It’s a shame you had to miss your weekend but it was kind of the guys to send you a photo of the game you couldn’t attend! You’re right about expectations. Politicians use the same psychology in reverse to soften the blow of bad news.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 12:40 pm

      It’s always interesting to me to listen to politicians following a primary. They seemingly can spin any result into something positive.

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  3. Timing is everything. Getting sick, whether Covid or something else , when you have plans sucks. No doubt about it. But how you deal with the situation is important. Glad you’re feeling better and didn’t spend your time wallowing in self pity. Like you said, there will be other things to look forward to.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 12:43 pm

      A minor setback when so many others are dealing with more serious and pressing problems. The timing could have been worse—it definitely crossed my mind when I was traveling cross-country to visit each of my brothers.

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  4. Glad you are feeling better!! Sorry you missed out on your fun weekend with friends. Makes being sick all the worse when you had exciting things to do. I mean if you are just going to miss a day or so of work, its not that bad. LOL! But yes we do have a a lot of great expectations and you are so right about the car mechanic example. Keep geting back to 100 percent so that you can enjoy your anniversary! And keep dreaming! 🙂

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 12:45 pm

      Thanks, Carolyn. I’ve always been a goal-oriented person. Since I was always telling my students to follow their dreams, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t do the same.

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  5. Hurray for not getting Covid. There are not many of us left who haven’t experienced the virus yet. So sorry you had to miss out on this social event, Pete. Maybe there will be a repeat one day.

    And yes, the feelings you describe are universal, especially as we get older. I always say that I never have expectations, because expectations lead to disappointments. Of course, that would be somewhat of a lie, because consciously or subconsciously we do imagine certain outcomes. In general, I’d rather live by the motto “Let’s see what happens.” This means few expectations and fits the adventurous spirit.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 12:48 pm

      “Let’s see what happens” is a much more positive attitude than assuming the worst. I’m grateful not to have problems with depression, as I know how debilitating that can be for those who do.

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  6. Too bad you missed the get-together, but at least it was not COVID.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 12:49 pm

      Dodged another bullet. I’ve read the predictions from some that we’ll all eventually get it.

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  7. This is a very insightful post, Pete. It’s taken a very long time, but I think I’ve learned how to manage my expectations. I’m glad your recent illness turned out to be nothing serious and you’ve recovered.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 4:50 pm

      Managing our expectations can be tricky. I think about my experiences as a teacher during P.E. Learning how to win and lose gracefully is part of growing up. Some kids could be so competitive that they were moved to tears, even in a P.E. game. Learning with disappointment is part of life. When younger kids lost their emotions, I saw situations like that as opportunities to teach. It seems to be in all facets of life—sports, politics, and employment. There isn’t always something nefarious going on. We can’t always blame others and say they won because they cheated.

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      1. I think we end up being happier when we accept a loss gracefully and move on. It might take some positive self-talk, but it can be done!

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  8. I’m glad you dodged COVID and are feeling better. A few short years ago we may have gone anyway but we are wiser now and stay home to avoid others getting whatever we have. I tend to stay positive and am seldom disappointed.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 4:52 pm

      I’d like to think I’ve got a little more sense and am more responsible now. If I made a list of the top ten dumb things I’ve ever done, most of those would be in my teenage years or early 20s.

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  9. Hope you have fully recovered. No fun having plans cancelled due to illness. Staying postive in this world anymore is not often easy. Sometimes it is hard to be positive.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 4:55 pm

      I think it’s a mindset. Some people choose to be in the middle of controversy and create drama for themselves. I prefer to avoid people like that because life is hard enough without looking for problems and negativity.

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      1. So true Pete. People wear me down with their silly gripes and self made problems.

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  10. Every responsible. I often view it through the lens, If I did have X, could I live with myself for not being responsible? I bet your friends appreciated your decision.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 6:11 pm

      There will be other opportunities. It’s not like this was only a one-shot deal, though I was disappointed. I’ve heard performers say they’ve learned to stay on an even keel over time. That makes sense to me, and it’s hopefully something we do better with age.

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      1. Definitely better as we realize no one event is apocalyptic, is it.

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  11. Happy upcoming anniversary, Pete! I’m glad you played it safe and protected your friends- smart choice- and that you’re on the road to recovery.
    I’m an optimist, as well, preferring to hope for the impossible and deal with reality when it hits me between the eyes, lol

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 6:59 pm

      Best way to go through life, Jacquie. Start positive and try to remain that way throughout the day. When something comes up, we deal with it. Thanks—36 years in August. I’m a lucky man.

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  12. Good to know you didn’t have Covid, Pete, but you made the right decision to stay home. I like your thoughts on expectations. As an indie author, I’ve had to work on my expectation management skills!

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 7:57 pm

      I probably have a tendency (in many areas of my life) not to give up easily. Most of the time, I think that’s a positive quality, but I suppose it’s a fine line to stubbornness. It reminds me of the scientific method. After we try something for a certain length of time and learn that it’s not working, we need to either adjust our hypothesis or our procedure.

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  13. I’m sorry you missed your reunion but thankful it wasn’t Covid. There is a new wave going around and from what I hear, vaccines and prior infection are not as effective with this strain. I’m going back to masking in public. I like your positive attitude and thoughts about expectations.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 10:07 pm

      The waves just keep coming and coming as the variants continue to spring up, and some aren’t as cautious as they were. Though I still see lots of people being vigilant, others seem to throw caution to the wind. I’m not sure if that’s because they feel safer now that they’re vaccinated, or they’ve caved into Covid fatigue.

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  14. Hi Pete, this is a great post. I enjoyed your reference to Mr. Dicken’s [greatest] work and your correlation of great expectations with life in general. I am always puzzled by goals and peoples discussions around setting them. I thought a lot about this when I wrote my post for Sally Cronin recently and I realised I really never have actually set goals in life. It sounds ridiculous but I seem to have made decisions based on various things like guidance from my mom and a career counsellor and never actually made further advanced plans about it. For example, my goal was to become a CA (SA) when I undertook those course as Uni, but I never even thought about articles and where I could do them. That came to me haphazardly because my cousin’s friend recommended me to the HR person at a big four firm because of my high marks. At work, they are always asking us to set goals, but I don’t seem to work like that. Even with my writing, my goal is to finish my book. I don’t think beyond that at all until it is finished. I’ve never looked to be published traditionally or write a query letter even. Hmmm! I think I should be setting goals but I know I probably won’t.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 20, 2022 — 10:24 pm

      Just like writing, everyone has to find what method works for them. Goals are not necessary for everyone, especially if they already know what they want. I’m not sure if they do this in South Africa, but people in America often set New Year’s resolutions they know or suspect they’ll never keep anyway. That seems pointless when you think about it. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but set goals for myself. It might be as simple as calling a friend this week that I haven’t talked to in six months.

      After I retired, I made a list of things I wanted to still do in my life. Some might call it a Bucket List. I suspect that is due to getting older and realizing the hourglass only has so many sands left. I don’t dwell on mortality, but I’m trying to make my time count. I also have a desire to do something positive in the world and feel like I’ve made a contribution, so I look for things to volunteer for that are important to me. I started reading to seniors at assisted living started in part because I think we should all look out for one another, and sadly I think the elderly are cast aside too often in society.

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      1. Hi Pete, resolutions are a tradition here too. I don’t ever make them. If I want to do something, I do it, I don’t need resolutions. I have goals with finishing books but not longer plans. I suppose that is really what I meant. I don’t have long-term life plans. I love your attitude to older people. My sons and I made 450 Christmas crackers for an old age home this Christmas passed. It took us 14 hours when we all worked together on it. I love to make the elderly feel special and loved.

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      2. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 10:43 pm

        I like your approach. Most people talk about doing things “someday.” You don’t dwell on that; you just go out and do them—a very admirable trait.

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      3. Thanks, Pete. Have a good weekend.

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  15. Glad to hear you’re doing fine. I just got my second bout of Covid, dammit. Thankfully, the symptoms aren’t as bad this time around, but I did pass it to my partner, and she’s going through chills and fevers as we speak. Feels bad.

    On the personal front, I sure as heck thought I had to go through the entire fuss of suffering once more, but only came out of the other side with coughs and a sore throat. I sure do feel like you after a visit to the mechanic.

    Anyway, thanks for this positive post, and yes, keep dreaming, because that’s what drives us indeed!

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    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 7:35 am

      I’ve talked to a few others who have gotten it more than once. Older guys like me have to keep revising our thinking, or we turn into rambling nostalgic geezers. (Where did I put my VCR? 🤣) By that, I mean a mentality of thinking we become immune to something after having it. Of course, it doesn’t work that way since strains are mutating.

      I enjoyed your last post about coming to terms with certain aspects of your writing. I forget the statistic, but you said you’ve had something like one in six novels published. I wouldn’t let go of that dream yet. You’ve got talent and a way with words. Many of your posts make me laugh and think—that’s more than I can say about some of the stuff I read.

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  16. Pleased you are better. Pete a shame you missed the game and catching up but it was nice of them to send the picture…I think I have lowered my expectations unless it’s the hope that I keep all my faculties and can still do what I am doing now when I am 90…Methinks that is a challenge. and a step too far..lol x

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    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 7:43 am

      Keeping our faculties is an outstanding goal—right with you on that one. I may be wrong (not a doctor), but my gut tells me that by being physically active and using our minds daily (active mind and body principles), we stay sharper than if we stopped doing those things. I also take inspiration wherever I can find it. That means when I see someone older that still seems mentally sharp (I’m talking in general terms), I think, “I can do that too.”

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      1. Absolutely, Pete…I do daily word games plus exercise that I think is all we can do and like you anyone older than me I take inspiration from…Have a lovely week 🙂

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  17. Sorry you were under the weather and had to miss your reunion. But other opportunities will reveal themselves. Your perspective on expectations is spot on. Glad you are better and happy anniversary to you and the misses!

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    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 7:47 am

      Thanks, Brad. Love the optimistic vibe about opportunities. Almost makes me want to go out and buy a Magic 8 ball. Just for you, I’m going to call my wife “the missus” today. She and I will both get a laugh out of that. I feel blessed to have inherited my mom’s good sense of humor.

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  18. I’m sorry you were unwell and missed the weekend you had planned, but I’m pleased it wasn’t Covid. Doesn’t sound pleasant anyway. I agree with you about needing a reason to get up in the morning. There’s always plenty more to achieve. I wish you success with attaining your goals.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 7:49 am

      Goals are a fluid situation, but they help motivate me to get things done. It’s been a week, and one of my goals is to get off my butt and exercise today. Have a good day, Norah!

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      1. I hope you achieve many more goals than that, Pete! Have a great week. 🙂

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  19. Carry on dreaming, Pete, and hope you feel better soon. My son’s 40th birthday is next Wednesday and a canal boat trip is planned for Saturday. Sod’s Law – he’s had Covid since last weekend…

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    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 7:51 am

      Oh, gosh—it’s never a good time to get Covid, but that’s awful. It’s a funny thing to watch our offspring hit milestones. We’re happy for them, but it reminds us how old we are—like I need any more reminders of that.🤣

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      1. Me either. Even our youngest is 37 this year.

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  20. so very well written, Pete. it is always hard when we are excited about something and already imagine in and then life happens. my sister and I recently went through a bout of covid, after a family vacation, and while fully vaxed and boosted, we caught it nonetheless. we both had bad cold symptoms and were tired but grateful nothing too bad. we both had to cancel some things, nothing as exciting as yours, and we are both fine now. fortunately, no one else in the family got it and for that we are grateful.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 7:54 am

      My anecdotal acquired information is the same as yours. Lots of vaccinated people still get Covid, but they usually don’t get as sick as unvaccinated folks. Getting over disappointments is part of life. Fortunately, we can turn the page and move on to something else.

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  21. It is an interesting bit of ‘normalcy’ that has entered into our everyday thinking – waking up feeling sickish and then having to take inventory first and foremost for symptoms of COVID. Hubby and I are in this routine as allergies and general malaise are in full swing this summer season! So far, no COVID – thank the Lord!
    I’m sorry you had to cancel your plans with the guys & game (gee, they look like a cool pack of guys, too!) but don’t think I didn’t notice the other part of (y)our ‘everyday thinking’ that isn’t as common amongst the general population – that being: consideration of others in case of infection and transmitting it to others especially those in more vulnerable groups. Good on you!
    As for dreams? After a few years of non-dream **sleep** I am once again ‘reeling in the dreams’ and feel more myself in that way.
    Just sayin’…
    Stay well!

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    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 7:57 am

      Shh—don’t let them hear you think they’re “cool guys.” 🤣 Love that you’re still dreaming, Laura. Like I’ve told others, I feed off of that. Why not, us??? I love going through life with a more optimistic attitude.

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  22. Ugh. That is horrible timing to get sick right before a highly-anticipated reunion. I’m so sorry about both Pete. Life sure likes to throw curveballs and it’s nice to have an optimistic mindset when it happens. The disappointment slowly morphs into silver linings and adjusts for the next adventure. I love your line “The beauty of life is that sometimes reality does live up to fantasy.” You get to experience all that pure joy. Those are the best of times. 🙂

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    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 8:04 am

      Look at you, throwing out sports metaphors (i.e. curveballs🤣) when I was supposed to be at a baseball game. There’s a certain irony in that which makes me chuckle. I know you’ve had many similar experiences with health getting in the way of life—such as when you couldn’t visit your mom at assisted living. I wish I could send you a picture of my little reading group at assisted living, Melanie. (Privacy issues won’t allow that.) They are so damn cute! When Margaret started taking notes while I was reading the first day, “she had me at hello” to borrow a line from the Tom Cruise movie.

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      1. 😂😂 I’m glad you got a chuckle. And look at you, throwing out a line from another Tom Cruise movie! I’m so glad you’re helping seniors have a good day, I actually can imagine how they might look together. I’ve seen many older faces and smiles over the last 2 years.

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  23. Your closing sentence says it all, “…but as an eternal optimist, I will continue to dream.” That is you (and me), and sums up how we should all live our lives. There will always be disappointments, and there will always be moments that make memories. Still, I’m so sorry you had to miss the reunion with your buddies. Best to you, Pete.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 8:45 pm

      If I ever make it back your way, I’d love to take you and Steve to Fenway Park to see the Yankees/Red Sox. Are you the one with the funny story about Bucky Dent, or did someone else tell me that?

      I try to surround myself with optimists because I think that’s the best way to live our life. You demonstrate this quality all the time by swinging for the fences (Haha—these baseball metaphors are rolling off my tongue today.) by reaching out to influential people who get the importance of what you’re doing—Millie’s quilts come to mind.

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      1. The Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway is as good as it gets. I told you the story of a little boy who told his teacher Bucky Dent’s name was Bucky F***ing Dent. That’s all he ever heard from his dad. 😂

        Yes, optimism is how I live, too. Home runs can only come if you swing the bat.

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      2. petespringerauthor July 23, 2022 — 8:28 am

        I thought that was you. I’m probably rehashing our original conversation about this, but your story made me think about all of the times when a story reminded a child something about their life. The students would begin telling a personal family story, and I’d abruptly have to cut them off, realizing it was not something their parents would want shared. 🤣

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      3. Haha! We get a few of those stories, too.

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  24. I’m sorry you missed the fun, Pete, but better to keep friends (and lots of strangers) safe from bugs. Covid or otherwise. That ability to make choices we don’t want to make is part of growing up. And it’s all about perspective, isn’t it? I love how we can turn a disappointment into a good choice. Glad you’re feeling better!

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    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 8:51 pm

      It’s not the end of the world. We’re already planning something for next year. I would have felt terrible if I went and someone else got sick because of me. Sometimes we just have to do the responsible thing.

      I can’t thank you enough for all of your insightful comments on my manuscript, Diana. I didn’t expect you to do that for me. I have already begun to trim the fat, and some of the lessons you taught me will stay with me forever. Of course, I will pass on what I’ve learned to others. As a retired educator, you have to know how much I believe in the collaborative process and picking the brains of those with more experience. You are an excellent teacher!

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      1. I’m glad you’ve rescheduled. As my husband and I plan vacations we keep our fingers crossed that they’ll go forward as planned.

        And you’re so welcome! None of us learn the intricacies of this craft without feedback. At least that’s my experience. It’s a gift, because we can’t fix what we don’t know! Pass it on, for sure! Hugs.

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  25. Sorry you had to miss out on the reunion, but you made the right choice. Glad you are feeling better. Disappointments are part of life, as you say, and there will be other opportunities. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 8:54 pm

      I know it has to do with being older and going through these last two and a half years, but I don’t take anything for granted—especially my time with family and friends. My mantra is, “No regrets!”

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  26. That’s too bad about missing out on seeing your old friends, but I’m glad you’re feeling better. And cheers to when car repairs are only $300!

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    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2022 — 8:59 pm

      Yes, every once in a blue moon. Our furnace just went out, and we replaced that yesterday. This is a record spending year for the Springers, but as our son likes to say, “You can’t take it with you.”

      I’m curious if things worked out and if you’ll be teaching overseas next school year.

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      1. Ah… the fun of owning a home. And I just found out this week that we will be going back to London in January. We are quite excited.

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      2. petespringerauthor July 23, 2022 — 8:31 am

        Fabulous! I’m happy for you and your family.

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  27. I’m SO sorry that you missed out on this amazing reunion with friends but I’m relieved that you didn’t catch Covid and have now bounced back. I love that you changed your perspective to one of gratitude! Hopefully you’ll get to see your friends another time. In the meantime you have much to look forward to!

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    1. petespringerauthor July 22, 2022 — 3:19 pm

      I’ve been so healthy since I retired that I haven’t been sick in a long time. It reinforces the idea of how stress affects our overall health. Plenty of other things to look forward to coming up. Are you still traveling with your family?

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      1. That’s very true! Stress definitely effects our health and even good stress can have negative impacts. I’m not traveling other than to pick my kiddo up before school starts. He’s spent the past 4 weeks with my mom 🥰

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  28. Pete, I don’t know if Dave and I could have lived up to your great expectations, but we sure would have had fun trying! Maybe we can try again next year. My wife and son filled in admirably for you at the Rivercats and Giants games, respectively. The Rivercats came back to win 7-6 and the Giants won 2-1 on an anticlimactic balk call. Glad you’re feeling better.

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    1. petespringerauthor July 22, 2022 — 4:44 pm

      I got to have lunch with Dave, Pete, and Marty when he was up this way earlier this week. Lots of good stories. I heard you got your walking in. 😎 I want a cut of the royalties as Marty wanted to know more about It Started with a Pickle Crock.

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  29. Great insights on managing expectations. I can relate!

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    1. petespringerauthor July 22, 2022 — 4:46 pm

      I’ll bet any day with your grandkids is a good day. I hope I get to experience that.

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      1. I hope you do too. You are perfect for the role!

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Even “eternal optimists” experience setbacks. I’ve had my share, but like you, I’m resilient and soldier on. I just got copious notes from my developmental editor about my second book, and it’s back to the drawing board I go. At least my eye surgeries recently have improved my vision, thank God!

    I love this quote from Bob Goff: “Disappointments don’t make you a victim; they prove that you are a participant, and participation is what we are called to–not success or job titles or acknowledgement. Even in the face of outcomes you don’t want, you have unstoppable, irrevocable agency to take the next few courageous steps.”

    That’s you, Pete, springing back better than ever. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 23, 2022 — 6:30 pm

      Resiliency is an essential human trait in all areas of life. I think we learn more about ourselves when things don’t go our way. I give myself a day to get out of my funk. This is not to make light of those struggling with depression as I understand the problems are real and run much deeper.

      Much luck to you on your new project, Marian. Have you shared what you’re working on or is that private?

      Glad to hear that your vision has improved. I am a prisoner to my glasses these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for asking. I announced my intention to compile a collection of blog posts this last October here: https://marianbeaman.com/2021/10/13/coming-down-the-pipeline-my-new-book/ Yesterday I got my manuscript back from my developmental editor who suggested I make a second memoir out of it, with blog posts as anchor points. It’ll take a while. (Sigh) Still, I have a way to go FORWARD! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor July 24, 2022 — 9:01 am

        You refreshed my memory, and I remember reading your post from before. I’m starting to feel like I need those defibrillators that they use on hearts for my brain. Best of luck, whatever you decide to do.

        Liked by 1 person

  31. Aw no… you were so looking forward to seeing your buddies! I’m sorry you got sick and missed that special get together but so glad that you were able to shift your perspective and look on the brighter side! Often times, it’s not situations that change and make us see the light, it’s the perspective that pivots our understanding… I love that you were able to see that! 🙂 Glad you were feeling 100% not too long after! Question, were you slightly disappointed you didn’t get the covid over with or were you relieved still not to get it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 23, 2022 — 6:39 pm

      That’s an interesting question, BB. I guess I never thought about it, but I don’t think so. I know of quite a few people who have had Covid more than once. I read today about someone who has already had it three times. It seems with these different variants, we’re not totally immune to anything. I look at it a little bit like the flu. Plenty of people who have been vaccinated still seem to get Covid, but they usually don’t get as sick.

      I remember that phase that Charlotte is in right now, seemingly always battling something. I hope your guys are doing better. Since retirement and being away from all those germs, I rarely get sick anymore.

      Being able to pivot and pick ourselves back up is part of life.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Thanks for the words of wisdom, Pete. So glad to hear that you’re on the mend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 24, 2022 — 12:22 pm

      Nice to be feeling more like myself. Thanks for reading, Bette.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have a great week, Pete!

        Liked by 1 person

  33. I imagine that I once believed in Santa Claus, but I don’t really have a recollection of that. You’d understand if you read “Waiting for Westmoreland.” Cars? Yes, some good and some bad surprises. I knew that the prostate cancer would eventually come, given my father’s death and my brother’s removal of that organ. Hasn’t been that bad so far–except for the driving. Friday it was for her to a neurologist who said, no, nothing needed to be done. This was to Phoenix and back. At 4.5 million people, it has twice as many as all of New Mexico–with traffic to match. Which is why we live in a small town instead of the DC area with two million more than Phoenix. On a four-lane part of I-10 heading back, a woman older than us cut right across my lane from the left to get to one on my right. I hit the brakes at 65 mph and missed hitting her right-rear quarter panel by less than ten feet. The reflexes are still good at 75 but I’d rather not need them. Especially when I had a phone call scheduled with the urologist a couple hours later. That went well, with her driving so I could look at notes in the hard rain slamming on the windshield when the call came.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 24, 2022 — 2:52 pm

      I understand the feeling of making what might have felt like an unnecessary trip, but that’s part of the equation with most health situations. When Mom was going through lots of anxieties with her health, I had to weigh the possibility of another six-hour trip to ER to probably learn nothing with her mental distress. It was tough to know if it served any purpose. Sometimes I brought her and other times I stayed with her overnight to see how she was doing the next day.

      Rain this time of year must be exceptionally rare for you. It seems like it’s been a heatwave everywhere with more pending in the coming week. Wishing you well, John.

      Like

      1. Rain is always scarce in the Southwest but July through September is the socalled “monsoon season.” What rain does fall comes this time of the year in Arizona and New Mexico. Less in the former. Sixteen inches is average for the year in my location.

        Liked by 1 person

  34. My daughter and granddaughter are on the mend from a similar not Covid virus. We have forgotten that we all used to get sick now and then. Fortunately we are well supplied with tests.
    One of the complaints now coming from college teachers is that students have been so sheltered from disappointments that they are falling apart when encountering them on their own. A fallout I guess from “helicopter parenting.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 25, 2022 — 8:29 am

      It’s no wonder that our minds automatically go there these days.

      Ah, a topic I also discussed with many parents over the years. It went something like this: “We learn the most from our failures. You’re not doing him (I’m not being sexist, but it usually was a him) any favors by repeatedly bailing him out. If he suffers some natural consequences for his behavior, it is the most likely deterrent for the future. Please stop doing his homework for him.”😊

      Like

  35. Like you said Pete, it’s how we deal with things. I’m sorry you weren’t well, and so weird, but your symptoms did sound very Covid. I wonder if those Rapid tests are sometimes false negatives too. I know when I caught it in April at my brother’s house, I got suspicious 2 days later with symptoms. I did quite a few tests and the positive one didn’t come up til day 5. Who knows anymore, but glad you’re on the mend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 25, 2022 — 7:33 pm

      Even after a couple of negative tests, I was still suspicious, but I bounced back pretty quickly. Hopefully, we will stay on top of this thing. It’s still quite interesting how people respond to the pandemic differently. We’re trying to balance living our lives while being smart about the whole thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is the best way Pete. That’s how I do it, protect, respect, and go on living. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  36. I’m so glad you didn’t have Covid. It’s hard to remember pre-Covid, but there was always a range of bugs and viruses around, and we would complain about having them. Like you, I’m trying to lead a balanced life now, and trying to enjoy myself. You never know what’s around the corner. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 26, 2022 — 4:52 pm

      I enjoy all the photos of you and your family. One of my brothers was supposed to go to Australia about the time when Covid first got bad. He and his wife are still waiting. I feel relatively safe though I won’t throw caution to the wind.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Oh boy, you set us up good for this one, Pete. I was getting so worried for you as I read each paragraph, and then it turned out to be even worse than I feared (being sick is not good, not good at all). Yet, after your expectations were dashed, you balanced it out by feeling better within a few days and, it seems, not having Covid. But I still feel a loss for you – I know how much I’ve missed getting together with my special college friends. The five of us meet at each other’s state (we live in five different ones) depending on the year, but now we’ve missed over three get-togethers. Sigh. But we’re healthy so far, 2/5 have gotten Covid, one quite sick but better now. She had a liver transplant 26 years ago, so we hold our breath when she gets sick. Now, we’re just so happy we’re all still alive and “kickin'” as the saying goes. So, keep on kickin’, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2022 — 11:32 am

      I know how special these friend gatherings are to me, Pam. We just can’t take for granted how good these visits are for our souls. Your set-up sounds a little bit like our Springer Family Reunions. My three older brothers and I each live in a different time zone, so one of us takes the lead every three years and plans the gathering. It’s a great way to also see different parts of the country. I also love seeing my nephews, nieces, and grandnephews, and grandnieces. I hope it happens for you and your friends this year. “Keep on kickin” is a great motto to live by.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Also, “Kicking up a storm.” Not sure where that expression came from, but I’d rather kick up a storm than dust. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  38. Worrying about missing small outings paled into significance in 1990 when our daughter caught chicken pox just before our Very Big 9 week holiday to Australia! Bearing in mind that my parents in Australia had never met my husband or our three children, stress levels were already high. We postponed for two weeks, but our sons caught it not at the same time, but in two week intervals so postponed for another two weeks. At least we got there in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor August 9, 2022 — 8:48 am

      I’m looking forward to getting to Australia someday. My brother and his wife were all set to go when Covid reared its ugly head. They’re still on hold more than two years later.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My sister is coming over from Australia at Christmas, at last!

        Liked by 1 person

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