I know what you’re thinking (and my name is neither Harry nor Thomas). You’re thinking that the title is a reference to pregnancy and morning sickness — maybe it’s an obscure Kate Middleton reference or something.
It’s more about expectations but I don’t think ‘expectationing’ is a word. (If it is, it shouldn’t be.) Not ‘lowered’ expectations especially; more about expectations at an… appropriate level. And knowing what is appropriate.
For example, my curling game has been in kind of a slump for the last few weeks. (Some people may argue that it’s been a few years, not weeks.) (I also wonder if the word ‘slump’ is appropriate. After all, slumps are for athletes and I’m not an athlete. On the other hand, I can’t think of a better one.) For example, in a recent game I made one (1) shot in the second half of the game in leading us to a loss. If I had made two (2) we might have won the game.
In this context, before last night’s game I set my expectations for the game and told my team: “I’ll try not to suck.”
Sometimes, one can set one’s expectations too high.
But that’s not really what I was going to talk about. I was going to talk about the conversation I had the other day with the nice lady from down the street. (And what’s up with that — how do you know if something is ‘up’ the street or ‘down’ the street? Maybe if there’s a hill, but our street is level, to a first approximation. My brief scan of the results of a google search was inconclusive at best.) I was playing hockey that afternoon and was lugging my giant hippo (bag full of smelly gear) out to the car when she (the nice lady) was walking by on her way to school (Not for her, you understand, but to pick up her sons. There’s a rant there but I won’t get in to it at this time.) and we paused to talk. We talked about a lot of things, among them expectations.
Her husband, for example, plays hockey. (I was going to say ‘plays hockey like me’, but that’s not quite accurate — he doesn’t play hockey like me: he’s actually quite good.) He had just had a game that went badly, for some definition of ‘badly’ — I suspect his might be a wee different than mine. (One of the few advantages of being a low-skill player is that one’s default expectations can be more…. modest.) So I mentioned to the nice lady that my expectations for hockey were usually “don’t hurt yourself and don’t barf.” (Aside: I failed at the ‘hurting yourself’ one a couple of months back. I tripped over the blue line — there wasn’t anything else there — and hurt my back; I could barely move for two weeks. I have no idea how I got my hippo back to the car.)
She looked thoughtful for a second and then said “My son did that, after a game. They were lining up for a team photo, and….” Did what? Hurl, apparently.
For reasons that I can’t fully explain, that made me feel good.