As we head through July, the Covid lockdown is being eased more and more each week. We can now hug certain people, invite people back into our homes, have slightly larger gatherings, and go to the pub and restaurants. How’s that turning out for you – the ‘New Normal’ – but not the same?
We all remember our experiences of places, occurrences and behaviours pre-lockdown – they were built up over years of repetition – engrained habits, but now things are different. It’s not the same, it’s unusual – maybe it is our resistance to change, or maybe it is the expectations we have placed on the event?
Disappointment frequently comes from a mismatch of expectation and reality. Imagine you had massive expectations of retirement, only to find, that the anticipated freedom was not quite how you thought it would be. Remember that holiday of a lifetime, which actually, was just ok, but nothing special other than a few bragging rights to your friends? What about the dream car – how long did that novelty last?
The danger, by pinning all our hopes on our expectations, is that anything less than what you have imprinted in your mind, will lead to disappointment – be it meeting up with friends again, dining out, travelling – or even trying to get used to watching sport with synthetic crowd noises. Life and reality is different, and that is the first step to appreciation – acknowledging that things are different, and you can accept them for what they are, not what you had anticipated them to be.
This goes far beyond coming out of lockdown, it stretches to everything we look forward to in life, which is why at Serenity, for us it is important to understand what motivates your goals, what value would it bring, how would it change how you feel. Financial life planning isn’t about just ticking things off a bucket list, its about understanding what leads to those desires, appreciating what we already have, and how sometimes the solution may be far more obvious than we think.
The important thing is to appreciate the here and now – this very moment in time, and be grateful for what is happening right now. It may not be the same as it was or you have expected, but now is all we actually have – tomorrow may not come and yesterday has passed, so why spend time and energy feeling a sense of dissidence because what we have is not what we had hoped for?
Try appreciating the new normal, embrace the opportunities, and be mindful of your letting your expectations run away.
– Jeremy Squibb