2023_BlogPrompt #14 – Supposed to

So often, people do what they think they’re supposed to in life. Or they complain about the fact that life is not going as it’s supposed to. I’m wondering if things are going as they are supposed to in your life, and if not, how are you reacting to that? As always, if you choose to take up the challenge, please add a pingback to this prompt.

These were supposed to be bagels. They might not look good, but they were delicious!

If you spend any time listening to what other people say, you will often hear, “This is not the way things are supposed to be.” Or you might hear, “This didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to.”

Supposed to…. These are loaded words. They are loaded with the expectations of others, of society, and of ourselves. “This is not the way it’s supposed to be” implies some more desirable outcome that is not attached to the reality of the situation. Because what is, regardless of what’s supposed to be, is reality. And we need to focus on what is, work on accepting this unexpected or maybe just undesirable outcome, and work on building and improving from there.

If we are constantly focused on what we meant to happen or what we thought would come to pass (but didn’t), we are one step detached from reality. And we miss the good in what did happen.

Then again…

Sometimes the statement, “This didn’t turn out like it was supposed to,” can be a fantastic lesson and learning experience. For example, if you set out on a baking adventure to create something you have never attempted but saw in a magazine or on tv or on Pinterest, your first attempt may come out wildly different than you are expecting—maybe or maybe not in a positive way. You have the opportunity to learn from your “supposed to.” What went wrong? Did you miss by an inch or by a mile? What changes do you need to make next time (if there is a next time)? These are all important questions to ask if you want to get closer to the mark of supposed to on your next try.

[Meanwhile, keep in mind that baking disasters often taste just fine.]

But seriously, we need to stop focusing on the expectations for everything we do because expectations often lead to disappointments. And disappointment leads us away from the good in what we’ve done. And the lessons are harder to recognize.

Truly, life—and I mean all of life—is a learning experience. Make the most of it and focus on the positive. Maybe something didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to, but there may be aspects that are at least redeemable.

Because when all is said and done, you’ve made a memory. Years from now, you will laugh about this. You and your friends/family will think back fondly on the day your experiment didn’t come out the way it was supposed to, but you ate it anyway. Or you ended up throwing it out and ordering take out.

So maybe, if you really think about it, the version you created might actually be better (in some weird way) than what it was supposed to be.


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