Friday, August 6, 2010

High Expectations

I know I am guilty of high expectation syndrome. I expect a lot of things and I am sometimes disappointed. A friend once suggested I try not to expect anything and I will never be disappointed. I never adopted his philosophy. I prefer to keep my optimistic attitude and most of the time it serves me well.

Over the weekend I enjoyed a great time with family and friends. Our Sunday was highlighted with church, relaxing by the pool and playing games in the backyard. I took my son, his girlfriend and their friend out to dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant in the area. We were seated within a few minutes and were looking forward to the friendly,entertaining service and incredible food we have always experienced there. Within a few minutes we all had the feeling it was not going to go well. From the minute the waitress said "I'll be with you in a sec" that expanded into what felt like ten minutes or more, we knew we were doomed. A problem here and there is not a big deal and they are easily brushed off, but that evening they snowballed. The waitress certainly wasn't new, she just had the wrong attitude that matched her poor service. A floor manager walked up to the table and asked the perfunctory "how is everything tonight?". When I politely responded "not so good" and explained why, she merely responded repeatedly with "I'm sorry" but never did anything to correct the situation. We were soon out the door feeling cheated of a good dining experience and left with a disappointing ending to an otherwise wonderful day.

I know that my yoga students have expectations when they come into class. Some think we are just going to relax and breathe the whole time, others think they will have to be a contortionist, and some have no idea what to expect. I try to explain in the beginning how the class will go - starting with breathing exercises, then "almost aerobic" sun salutations, then everything will slow down, ... I remind them to pay attention to their body and the messages it sends them. I encourage them to take breaks when they need them - and they WILL need them. I can't explain everything that they will enjoy during the class but I like to clarify some expectations. I hope that settles their mind a bit and helps them enjoy the experience.

I can't wait to hear the restaurant owner's response to my letter!