As a tender youth in the Young Women's program, we were always told 'never lower your standards or expectations!' I took that advice to heart, always looking for what I could expect more from. Friday night date? Dinner and a movie were so overdone. Just dinner itself? Don't even think of taking me to something like Applebees - they get all of their food from Sysco! Vacations? The more remote and related to the Caribbean the better. I once dated a young man whose highest desire from life was to sit in his library at home and read books. Who'd ever want to marry someone like that?
Growing up in North Carolina, I had definite ideas about climate. Anything less than 85 degrees is cool, and anything less than 50 is downright cold. And below freezing? We don't talk about places like that out of respect for the mental deficiencies of the people living there.
However, this winter has been only the worst in a long string of cold winters; I was just grateful to stay home and not walk to class in the miserable weather. Spring has finally decided to show its face around here, and the snow has almost melted. The weather has been gorgeous. Kathleen and I have gone running in reduced winter gear (only one blanket for her, and one jacket and pair of running tights for me, sometimes ever stripping down to no jacket at all). After all 30 degree mornings are quite balmy compared to 20 degree ones. And those ones are better than 10 degree mornings. This afternoon, charmed by the sun, Kathleen and I even shed our coats and I donned flip-flops. And who wouldn't on a balmy, 55-degree day? Despite the warnings of my long-ago leaders, I have come to embrace lowered expectations. Being happy is so much easier when one doesn't expect much.