Life is, to some extent, an extended dialogue w/ your future self about how exactly you are going to let yourself down over the coming years

Behavior is easier to change than expectations are. […] Telling your enthusiasm and daydreams to sit in a closet till [the situation] proves worthy of them? That involves the hard work of identifying, and admitting, why you so badly need the validation. Repairing the source of the need is the answer here.

Carolyn Hax. I edited this quote to make it more general. Relates to another favorite line of hers: Let the facts write your dreams. Other Hax quotes I love.

Basing your friendships on what people have to offer, vs. what you want from them, can make them closer than they’ve ever been.

We expect too much from January and not enough from February.

@mlarson, aka me. I think I’m on to something here.

A Prayer That Will Be Answered

Lord let me suffer much
and then die

Let me walk through silence
and leave nothing behind not even fear

Make the world continue
let the ocean kiss the sand just as before

Let the grass stay green
so that the frogs can hide in it

so that someone can bury his face in it
and sob out his love

Make the day rise brightly
as if there were no more pain

And let my poem stand clear as a windowpane
bumped by a bumblebee’s head

Anna Kemienska’s poem from The Book of Luminous Things, translated from Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. Via malevichsquare.

Filed under: poetry, prayer.

When you’re in denial about how invested you are in a single outcome, that’s when unrealistic expectations creep in.

Via mhsteger, a few of Sydney Smith’s prescriptions for low spirits, from a February, 1820 letter to Lady Georgiana Morpeth:

6th. See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you.

7th. And of those acquaintances who amuse you.

11th. Don’t expect too much from human life—a sorry business at the best.

14th. Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue.

15th. Make the room where you commonly sit gay and pleasant.

17th. Don’t be too severe upon yourself, or underrate yourself, but do yourself justice.

18th. Keep good blazing fires.

So much more than the world could offer

linedandunlined:

From historian Daniel Boorstin’s introduction to The Image, his book from 1961:

When we pick up our newspaper at breakfast, we expect — we even demand — that it bring us momentous events since the night before. We turn on the car radio as we drive to work and expect “news” to have occurred since the morning newspaper went to press. Returning in the evening, we expect our house to not only shelter us, but to relax us, to dignify us, to encompass us with soft music and interesting hobbies, to be a playground, a theater, and a bar. We expect our two-week vacation to be romantic, exotic, cheap, and effortless. We expect a faraway atmosphere if we go to a nearby place; and we expect everything to be relaxing, sanitary, and Americanized if we go to a faraway place. We expect new heroes every season, a literary masterpiece every month, a dramatic spectacular every week, a rare sensation every night. We expect everybody to feel free to disagree, yet we expect everybody to be loyal, not to rock the boat or to take the Fifth Amendment. We expect everybody to believe deeply in his religion, yet not to think less of others for not believing. We expect our nation to be strong and great and vast and varied and prepared for every challenge; yet we expect our “national purpose” to be clear and simple, something that gives direction to the lives of nearly two hundred million people and yet can be bought in a paperback at the corner drugstore for a dollar.

We expect anything and everything. We expect the contradictory and the impossible. We expect compact cars which are spacious; luxurious cars which are economical. We expect to be rich and charitable, powerful and merciful, active and reflective, kind and competitive. We expect to be inspired by mediocre appeals for “excellence,” to be made literate by illiterate appeals for literacy. We expect to eat and stay thin, to be constantly on the move and ever more neighborly, to go to a “church of our choice” and yet feel its guiding power over us, to revere God and to be a God.

Never have people been more the masters of their environment. Yet never have people felt more deceived and disappointed. For never has a people expected so much more than the world could offer.