Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The art of not expecting

While my mum was visiting she bought me a lottery ticket.

Today at the train station just before I waved her off we were talking about where I might move when my house sells. (Some days I think I will still be rattling around here with my zimmer frame!)

“Well I could win the lottery.” I said. “Then I’d be able to buy a house wherever I wanted.”

But as I followed this line of thought I realised I wouldn’t know what to do with the one I already have.  Having two houses meant twice as many worries. The idea of having more money actually created more problems than it solved!

Not that I EXPECT to win the lottery but sometimes it’s nice to daydream.

On Sunday oldest son went for a trial to be a ball boy at the O2 in November for the Masters Tennis Tournament featuring the world’s top eight players.

The qualities they were looking for were “agility, co-ordination, speed, accuracy, ball skills and teamwork”.  Oldest son possesses all of these, to a greater or lesser degree, but he was the tallest child there with lolloping teenage arms and legs all over the place. I wanted to shout at him to stand up tall, “arms behind your back”. The smaller kids seemed to find it easier to stand to attention and look the part.

He did say “thank you” to the organiser at the end without my prompting as a way to impress but alas I got an email today saying he hadn’t been picked.

I don’t know if he expected to be but I know I daydreamed he would get a place and I could watch him on the telly. Maybe he fantasized about meeting his heroes too.

There’s a huge difference between daydreams and expectation.

After Andrew died I not only missed Andrew deeply but I missed the closeness of being part of a couple.  In my head I believed I might meet someone new who had the qualities and characteristics Andrew didn’t but I always wished he did.

A man who didn’t get stressed with everyday situations. Someone who would buy me flowers and whisk me away for a romantic escape. A man who would not only pick his dirty socks up off the bedroom floor but manage to take them to the washing machine! 

These things were never important to Andrew but they are to me.

Over time I have come to realise my expectations are pure fantasy, actually the full list is much longer. How could anyone match such high specifications?

The same is true with my writing.

I daydream one day it will be in print, in an actual book, a best seller no less. I will appear on chat shows and get asked to do “Strictly” but there’s no way I’m going in that jungle however much of a “celebrity” I become!

(this has been a recurring daydream for as long as I can remember - read this post from last year - In my Wildest Dreams.)

Although not IMPOSSIBLE the chances of all my wishes coming true are far less than my son being picked to be a ball boy. 

There were 30 boys and girls to choose from and even if they only picked two on that day (there have been other trials taking place in other locations), a one in fifteen chance is far better odds than me getting a publishing deal or winning the lottery!

That’s not to say I’m being a complete pessimist and not even trying. I have before me the details for a writing award. Last year’s entry got a very encouraging rejection letter back, even suggesting I try again. 

(I wrote about my rejection letter last year too - Rejection is never easy.)

So without expecting much more than another letter to add to my collection I shall once more apply.

Of course in my imagination I am sitting at an awards ceremony with a gorgeous man by my side waiting for my name to be called … well a girl has to dream!

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