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Expectations vs Reality

Expectations versus reality, how different can they be?!? How often have your expectations met the reality you experienced? Sometimes you may have been pleasantly surprised and delighted whereas other times not so much so.

I moved into the flat in Villefranche (east of Nice) on Saturday where I will be renting for the next four months. For those who have used holiday rentals or Airbnb before, often times the places are fully furnished and ready to go. They might be somewhat basic, yet still functional. All you have to do is unpack your bags and enjoy. For me, I pretty much expected that, however the reality was somewhat different!

I always knew that the move into the flat would be a significant event. It would be another stepping stone confirming the reality of what I was doing – leaving the UK to pursue a dream of living in a different place in a nicer climate all the while continuing to work on my coaching/training business. For the past three weeks, I’ve been cat-sitting Annie for a lovely Canadian/Australian couple in the center of Nice. I had always planned to take that time to rest, relax and ponder my next steps. The move into the flat meant that I would start taking action on those steps!

Well, suffice to say that the flat was not quite as ‘functional’ as I expected. There were several, what I would consider essential, things that were missing regardless of the length of stay, including even a roll of toilet paper! Plus, the kitchen was barely functional and for those that know how much I like cooking, you can understand how challenging that was for me! The fact that I was not able to access the internet and had to wait until Monday to get it sorted didn’t help matters! Yet, it was an incentive to stay offline and only used the internet via my phone, so kept it to a minimum! Actually, that isn’t such a bad idea to do on a regular basis … something to ponder!

Even though my initial expectations were not met when I landed in the flat, there were still many positives, including being lent a Nespresso machine from the cat couple so I could enjoy good coffees. Not quite like the Red Roaster coffees with my swimming buddies in Brighton, yet, at least it is decent coffee! Additionally, I am very grateful that I have good friends who reminded me to focus on the many positives including the fact that I AM in the South of France and I AM ‘living the dream’! They also reminded me to keep my eye on the longer-term goal and bigger picture! Enough said, no more whinging or whining!

On a completely separate note, I ran in the Nice Prom Classic 10k on Sunday. In bright sunshine and 15C weather, I smashed my previous 10k person best by 30 seconds, from last November in the Brooks Brighton 10K, and crossed the line in 53m18s! I went with the expectations to work hard yet still enjoy myself and the reality was certainly that!

Overall, I believe we get upset when we are fixed and rigid in what we expect and the reality we experience is different. I think it is fine to have expectations, we just need to be flexible with whatever reality we are presented with. Plus, we need to keep our eye on that end goal and the bigger picture. Note to self, flexibility, end goal and bigger picture!

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