Harnessing Expectation and Disappointment

diceFrom the total 36 dice combinations for each dice total, the odds of hitting a dice total combo of 2 or 6 is 35 to 1, or 2.78%. According to Frank Scoblete (casinocenter.com), a shooter can actually change the odds of a craps game with particular throwing techniques – also known as precision shooting or rhythmic rolling. For everybody else, throwing the dice will either leave you disappointed…. or pleasantly surprised.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

For two weeks I have anticipated the reveal of our newly renovated lovely, old home. With the walls re-installed and the bathrooms tiled, our final selections of interior paint colors had been submitted. We crouched around a single wooden plank in the kitchen while Jim dabbed a spot of stain onto the wood and quietly explained the secret properties of our color of choice, which he slowly pronounced “Ja-co-bean.” The kitchen cabinets would be delivered the following day and by the time we arrived a week later, we fully expected to see what finally looked like a beautiful, new home.

Disappointment Reigns

The contractor was waiting at the bottom of the drive with the painter when we arrived – we needed a quick conference before going inside, she said. Apparently, most folks choose 2 or 3 interior paint colors in 1 or 2 finishes. My interior color scheme involved 11 colors in 3 different finishes. I thought nothing of it – each room had spoken to me in a different color. The finish, on the other hand, was an easy adjustment. That small compromise eased the tension among the group and we moved inside.

The beautiful windows Noah had painstakingly installed were covered in plastic. The finished floors we anxiously awaited were wrapped so tight we could barely steal a glimpse. The cabinets rested patiently in their original boxes. I caught myself sigh and hoped none of the workers could see our disappointment.


In the case of uncertainty, expectations is what is considered the most likely to happen. An expectation, which is a belief that is centered on the future, may or may not be realistic. A less advantageous result gives rise to the emotion of disappointment.

If something happens that is not at all expected… it is a surprise.


Our disappointment came from unrealistic expectations. We did not adjust ourselves to the delays these workers faced when it rained every day and the exterior painting could not begin. We didn’t consider the prep work may take longer than planned. We did not even consider that humans were involved in the equation whatsoever.

I expect everyone falls victim to unrealistic expectations as it relates to friends, family, co-workers – even ourselves.


In our house, my husband expects that our white poodle, Dudley, will not hike up the mountain, dig to the center of the earth, and return home covered in black dirt. But, he does. Even though my husband is angry with him every time, it doesn’t change that we love this little pooch. It doesn’t mean we push him aside in favor of the others who keep themselves clean. We have caused our own disappointment with poor Dudley, just as we did with our lovely, old home.

For me, this has been a nice reminder that no one is more responsible for my disappointment than me.

Eventually, we will reveal this lovely, old house…. and I hope you won’t be disappointed.

A photo of Dudley taken the same day of this post, after which we took the garden hose to that $100 hair-do.
A photo of Dudley taken the same day of this post, after which we took the garden hose to that $100 hair-do.

2 thoughts on “Harnessing Expectation and Disappointment

  1. Mike often repeats that unmet expectations are the source of all our disappointments. So sorry for the delay. Another lesson in not being in control!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s