After a mother saw an interview with me, she messaged me and said that even though she appreciates the work that I do, my message does not apply to her son who has a cognitive disability. Her expectations for her son were not realistic. The best advice that I gave her was to readjust her expectations. Otherwise, she would not find peace and happiness.
This got me thinking about my own life and the pandemic. All my life, I have dreamed of what my life would look like if I was not disabled. I would dream of speaking without a speech impediment, driving a car, hiking in Hawaii, giving my kids piggyback rides, and more. Some of these activities are adventurous and some are downright mundane. Oftentimes, I was paralyzed by this idea of perfection. Even when my life was amazing, I said to myself: “This could be so much better if I was not in this body.” Although I still have my moments, my number one goal is to make my life amazing.
Due to the pandemic, our lives have really turned upside down. The old ways of living life have been tainted. One way to thrive during this time is to adjust our expectations. We all miss our old lives. Instead of fantasizing and expecting life could be lived like the good old days, ask yourself: “How could I make the best out of this situation?” Before these times, I used to go out to dinner a couple of times a week with either friends or family. But now, instead of looking forward to that or waiting for the time when I can do that again, I look forward to taking a 45-minute drive every night before or after dinner. Before my kids used to go to karate, soccer, piano, but now that the weather is good, my kids go to my parents’ house for a swim. My younger son, Tyler, just learned to swim.
As a football fan, I was inspired by the NFL draft. They had planned to build a stage on the Bellagio lake and have players in boats. Instead, they had a virtual draft. They even had fans virtually boo the commissioner.
I believe that perfection is the enemy of amazing. Nobody has a perfect life, a perfect marriage, a perfect business relationship, and so on. However, people have amazing lives, amazing marriages, amazing business relationships, and so on.
I don’t want to diminish the pain that some are going through. For others, it’s a great inconvenience. The issue is we don’t have to think that far back to remember the days when we could sit at a bar or a crowded restaurant. The goal is to enjoy your life and improve it.
During this time, it’s easy to miss the way things were. Instead, we must adjust our expectations and enjoy the life we have.