Great Expectations

Blessed is he who doesn’t expect, for he shall never be disappointed.

My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Paul, wrote this quote in my autograph book when I graduated from high school.  At that time, it sounded rather negative and out of place in the midst of other uplifting autograph entries such as “Snakes in the grass go hiss, hiss, hiss; You and your bf go kiss, kiss, kiss”.  Still, this one has stayed with me over the years, especially when I notice the direct correlation between expectations and disappointment.

Curious about what inspired such deep thoughts early in the morning?  I will tell.

I just started PT for my back pain at this new wellness center that has opened near us.  I called for an appointment more than two weeks back, but they were really booked up and could only squeeze me in after a two week wait.  This already made them look quite attractive (compared to prior miserable PT experience, where they had availability up the wazoo all day and night!!).  Meanwhile, I chatted with a few friends who had been to this place previously.  My friend, R, raved about them.  Her back pain improved really nicely within a few weeks, and oh, their hydrotherapy with water beds was just amazing.  I smacked my lips in anticipation.  Another friend, G, a therapist herself, raved about the awesome reputation of this wellness center.  Plus, when I told friends that I was starting PT (and I told anyone that listened), they ooohed and aahed about massages, and sent me good wishes for therapy to work its magic (sounds delish when put like that, no?).

So.  High with anticipation, I reached the wellness center in pouring rain late monday evening.  The friendly lady put me on a treadmill for 10 minutes, and then got me going on exercises of varying intensity that lasted almost an hour.  I kept waiting for the water bed or a massage to materialize.  Never happened.  I felt increasingly discontented.  Words like WTF flashed through my mind (and not abbreviated either, let me tell you!).  “How are you doing?”, the friendly therapist asked at what seemed to be the end of the session.  “Very sore”, I mumbled, hoping she would give me a massage for the next 10 minutes.  She gave me a wide smile, a thumbs up, and sent me home.

Went for session 2 last night with no illusions.  Climbed obediently on the elliptical and did the runs and stretches that I was told to do.  Even enjoyed some of it.  Since clearly no one was going to give me a massage or anything (that ship had long sailed away), decided not to be shy, and asked for a heating pad at the end of the workout (instead of just whining that I was sore).  And luxuriated in the warmth while leafing through a juicy gossip magazine.  All in all, session 2 went a lot better than session 1.  Just because of my attitude.

Looks like Mrs. Paul had it right after all, huh?


6 thoughts on “Great Expectations

  1. Perfect saying Kavitha..I think I should start following that immediately since my anniversary is nearing ..:))
    On a side note, feel better. I know this may sound cliche but try yoga for your back pain.or maybe a couple of massages ( as you anticipated) would help but not swedish or anything but proper ayurvedic panchakarma massages..I underwent a few and knock on my head, my back pain has not returned yet…take care

  2. I’ve noticed the linear relationship between the quantum of expectation and quantum of disappointment. You did take away some wisdom from school, and have now shared it with me.
    Hope you feel better soon.

    • Thanks, Lak! Yes, this was one of my major takeaways from school. This, and something I used to read on a hallway poster every morning while walking back to class from assembly – “The meaning of life is beyond it”. Still trying to figure out that one. 😉

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