Anticipation

Last week, someone at work referred to me as a “glass half-empty” kind of person.  I was a little surprised, as I don’t think of myself as a gloomy Gus.  I do work hard to keep my expectations low sometimes – especially for events or big occasions.  That way, if something tanks, I’m not terribly disappointed.  But if it goes well, then I am very happy – probably happier than if I had high expectations.  So maybe I am “glass half-empty”.

Next week is the opening of the State Fair.  I don’t need to bore you all (again) with my love of the State Fair but I am telling you, it is HARD to keep my expectations in line.  YA and I did the mini (pretend) fair experience over Memorial Day and it was a good idea to not go into it with a lot of excitement. But even with that very blah experience under our belts, we’ve spent a lot of time in the last week figuring out which days, how many tickets, what new foods, when will the golden retrievers be there, where parking is this year.  We bought our tickets and have even combed through the coupon booklets already.  I have taken opening day off of work as well as a few other days.  YA has also requested a couple of days off.

Considering the current state of affairs, it seems dangerous to get my hopes up.  The Fair could just be a disaster this year.

But with all this activity and still a few days before opening, how do I keep my expectations low?  Are you a half-full or half-empty type?

69 thoughts on “Anticipation”

    1. I did make it sound like that, didn’t I? But actually it was in a larger conversation and she was trying to delineate our similarities and our differences. So it was more of a “I am this kind of person, you are that kind of person”.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Always half-full. Maintaining a positive attitude makes getting up every day worth doing. Otherwise, life can be pretty sucky.

    One can make a case that mass media (and now social media) are perma-glass-half-empty sources because they’re always telling us what’s wrong, what horrible things are happening in the world, and making us feel guilty about something that happened halfway around the world just because we’re privileged to live in the US in the 21st century.

    Talk about a self-destructive society. Sheesh. Yet we all find ourselves wallowing in that mire because we’ve been brainwashed to believe “that’s just the way it is.”

    Up until the last 150-200 years, the vast majority of people lived in a small little world bounded by how far they could walk or ride a horse in a day. They didn’t know of all the pain and suffering going on in 99.999% of the world. I’ll wager people were much happier then, despite their own personal hardships merely surviving in those times, because they actually had hope that they could figure out a way to solve their problems and improve their lives. No one wasted time fretting over the misfortune of someone half a world away.

    Chris in Owatonna
    *Drink up, Shriners!* 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Chiming in with even more agreement here. I have actually been much less stressed and anxious throughout pandemic than I would have anticipated because early on I divorced myself from the news and a lot of social media.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. No they weren’t happy. Everyone was oppressed, including the king, who was expecting his own brother to assassinate him at any moment. Most times, most places.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I think I am a half full person. Husband is half empty. We are a balancing act, I guess. My parents were the same, with dad being the most cheerful and my mom a worrier.

    I woke up this morning about 2:30 in a panic, though, and it took several minutes of self talk and careful thinking to remind myself that yes, I actually finished writing my doctoral dissertation, and that I wasn’t going to be told by my graduate school that I had taken too long and run out of time to finish my degree. I haven’t had that dream for a long time, and I think it is a sign that I need to take a break from the news and focus on the eggplants quickly ripening in the garden.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Renee, it turns out that your dream/nightmare is a classic that afflicts virtually anybody who was ever in a grad school program. In that classic dream (which I first heard from Garrison Keillor) school officials notify you that you didn’t actually deserve the degree they once said you had earned. I’ve had that dream maybe three times. In my case, the twist is always that I’m told I didn’t really learn German, so to actually validate the degree I’ll need to take German again.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. You’re right. I’ve mostly encountered that dream in the context of a college degree, but it is more universal than that. I’d like to understand why. Women are apt to have dreams where they are caught in public with no clothes on. Why would that dream apply to women, not men?

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        2. I frequently have dreams where I am undressed or underdressed, in a towel or something. In these dreams I am mildly embarrassed but nobody else seems to take any notice of my undress. Also, in my dreams I am younger and fitter.

          Liked by 3 people

  3. A lifetime of depression—well, you can guess what that makes the world look like. However, to have worked that hard at teaching means there was a strong element of hope. 40 years of cohabiting with the drill-and-kill and the Answer-the-questions-at-the-back-of-the-chapter folks told me how important is a believe in the task, in other words HOPE. A history teacher in Georgia wondered why so many history teachers showed do little believe in the task. Did studying history give them jaundiced eyesight? I have other answers to that.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. History is no different than the present. Like us, people then didn’t know what would happen or whether things would work out. Some were glass half empty folks, some not. Things worked out for some. Some not so much.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Maybe we all have a different definition of full or empty in this instance.
    Maybe my glass is half empty, but today’s the day I start to fill it up again. And try to fend off the people who think I said “Immediately”. I said “Start.”

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I am a half-full kind of person to point of pathological optimism. I have really had to work on that, reducing expectations and deciding there are some things (like working) in which I am better off in the world of entrepreneurship where that attitude is required. Going to work in a bureaucracy and expecting those around you to behave well, is really naive.

    When I applied to graduate school I sent off one application to one school, expecting unrealistically to get in. I look back at that now and wonder, in the words of Christine Lavin, “What was I Thinking?” I got in. I arrived at the U of MN and found everyone else had applied to dozens of schools.

    The only way to grow a garden is to be optimistic, So I put it there.

    Re: State Fair. I had signed up to serve at the Master Gardener Q and A booth. Then yesterday I heard there was no mask requirement. This booth is indoors at the Ag building. I decided to withdraw. It just seemed too risky. I found out this morning that most of the volunteers withdrew yesterday for the same reason.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I really wonder, Jacque, if someone could do the work you do and be a glass-half-empty person. You are a healer, a healer who deals with the most complicated kinds of problems. To be successful, you have to have faith in yourself and the skills you have acquired. Similarly, I think a glass-half-empty person could never be good at physical therapy, another healing profession.

      And now my head is full of questions about optimism and other jobs or professions. Could a pessimist be a good college professor? I think so. Could a pessimist be a great plumber? That seems possible. Could a pessimist be a good artist (artist in the sense of someone who paints or sculpts)? I doubt it. A good teacher, I think, has to be more optimist than not. Being a pessimist might be an advantage if you are a bookkeeper. My hunch is that being a pessimist would lead one to be a terrible cop.

      I better quit this line of thought!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. They updated the Covid recommendations yesterday and I am sorry to say that they’re counting on the “do the right thing” instead of the “we’re telling you to do the right thing “. YA and have already decided to mask up. It didn’t kill us last year when we went to San Diego and it won’t kill us this year at the state fair.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Steve, I was going to answer that before you asked it. I hated school from start to finish, but didn’t care about exams, and have never had dreams about it.
    And now I rarely have the dream about the farm I worked on when I left school. We parted on bad terms after a year or two. I would dream I was back there prowling around the fields in secret, regretting the changes they’d made. I was usually naked. I did have that one not so long ago, but as I say, it’s rare.
    It’s mostly been replaced by three others, fully dressed : My little herd of cows has broken out from wherever they were living, on rented, or more or less, commandeered property. I’m desperately anxious to get them back where they were supposed to be, but nothing’s happening, I seem to be paralysed.
    Or: I’m back on the farm where I lived in my caravan. We haven’t parted, I haven’t spoken to Graham and Lynn since the day Isaac was born but we’re friends always. But various misadventures occur, either in or at the caravan, or in or at the farmhouse and yard.
    Or: Maybe the worst one. My truck is loaded and ready to go. Or I’ve arrived at my first destination, and need to get unloaded, so I can hit the road again. Or some similar scenario involving the hated, TRUCKS! The clock is ticking, I’m late, people are waiting. But nothing’s happening, I’m paralysed.
    I don’t like these dreams. But I gather it’s normal to have bad dreams.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I wonder. I never have nightmares, dreams so bad that I wake up hyperventilating. Even the dream a month ago where Donald Trump was my enemy was not frightening. But I often have dreams where I’m in a difficult situation that has no easy answer. The dream that keeps repeating is one in which I am lost, trying to find something familiar in a landscape full of confusing people and strange places.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. It sounds like you’re being cautiously optimistic, VS, and are preparing yourself for pretty much anything. I’ll cross my fingers for you.

    My best high school friend observed that I expect the best to happen and am frequently disappointed. while she expected much less of people and situations, and was thus sometimes pleasantly surprised. That is still probably accurate, with a little more caution.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I would be interested to know what a State Fair actually is. I’m guessing it’s similar to an English agricultural show, though don’t know if that exists in the same form as the last one I was at, in 1968. It would have a large livestock exhibition, and lines of machinery and equipment stands, and the odd sideshow. I believe they became less agricultural and more touristy, but I never had a great interest after the first time or two.

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    1. Think of your agricultural fair, combined with multiple and exciting Carnival rides, musical entertainment, and really unusual food. There is stock judging, jelly and home canning, judging, handicrafts, horse shows, prize pigs and dairy and beef cows, poultry, Dairy princesses who have their likenesses carved in huge blocks of butter, and displays of new farm machinery, and it all lasts for a couple of weeks. Other Baboons can do it more justice than I can.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually Renee nailed it pretty well. Although she forgot to mention my favorite part, which is the people watching. Oh, and the golden retrievers.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Crop art, all kinds of crafts and fine art. As an added attraction this year, if a local gun owners’ club has it’s way, citizens armed with guns. It boggles my mind to think of the possibilities after they’ve had a few beers.

          Liked by 4 people

      1. Do you have someone who can help finding the right facility and that has a room available? I can imagine that with all of her other physical issues, it’s not just a matter of finding a memory care unit. Good luck, Clyde, with finding a place that will give her good care and relieve you of the constant worry that taking care of her causes.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I am firmly of the belief that we were not created to suffer like this and that the perfect life intented for Adam and Eve will be restored.
        I’ve read Paradise Lost by Milton. There will be a Paradise Regained.
        Sorry to be preachy.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I was amazed at the variety of care available for little extra money. My sisters are hard core advocates for Dad. Good enough is never good enough. They should have run for office in their states!

        Liked by 3 people

  9. My half full glass syndrome has been a point of discussion with my wife and I she claims it’s a
    Fault and yet I can do it any other way I guess that’s what they say about a salesman as you need to be optimistic and not be devastated by results that don’t match up

    My wife wants to maintain her low expectations to that she’s not disappointed but the problem is she goes through life with low expectations and a dark view of the world what kind of fun is that

    I can’t understand why you would wanna have low expectations of the fair when we know what your favorite thing

    Maybe you should just skip it altogether that you wouldn’t be disappointed at all

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is a way of life that works for me. If I go into the fair with very high expectations, considering how things have changed the last 18 months, I don’t want to be unhappy about the time I spent there. If I try to remember that things aren’t always perfect and may not always go the way I like, then I don’t have regrets.

      And it’s certainly needs saying that up until this year I’ve never had to try to set expectations for the fair. I’ve always known that I’m gonna have a great time and I always do. And I’m pretty sure that I’m gonna have a good time next week as well. But I do want to be on realistic.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Maybe it’s, half full, but let’s not get carried away. Half full, OK? Not full.
        Maybe that’s not it either.
        I can’t fix carburettors (English spelling). I just have never managed to fix one. So we ordered new ones, for the chainsaw, and my seventeen year old brushcutter. Both machines are perfectly good, they just wouldn’t go and I was at my wits end. The carburettors arrived and I put them on, and did other jobs in the garage, then that was it for the morning.
        Oh God, this story’s going on and on again. I was down the field later and tried them. The saw wouldn’t go, well that was disappointing but no surprise. I never had seen why the carb should be giving trouble, but I was just desperate, and now would have to think of something else. The brushcutter was really, really hard to start. But then it never had been great. It finally started and ran till the tank ran dry. There were still little things I could look at, to do with improving the starting.
        In retrospect, glass definitely half full. I never expected both of them to go.
        Last year I bought a new brushcutter in a hurry, to do some work at short notice. The chainsaw will have to be fixed soon, whatever it takes. Soon I’ll have saved the money for a bigger saw to go with it. I’ll have six running machines in my mobile Stihl garage. Exciting, and glass full for a while.

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        1. I’ll put the old carb back on the saw, having eliminated that possibility. I may well take it back to the people who fixed it the other week. I could say, I paid you to fix this. I don’t have a receipt for reasons we both know about. But you know I paid you. But they’re nice people, and I’m shy, and I know I won’t say that. And Pilar behind the desk has a heart stopping smile. Let’s keep her smiling.

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      1. Forrrr various reasons, I’m podsting this a bit late. I did once see part of an earlier version of “State Fair”, with Will Rogers, I think. Thede was a kid with a pig, and I think his older brother went astray, in the big cosmopolitan world. Didn’t see the rest. But this version, wow, is that what you’ll be getting up to, Sherrilee? I didn’t catch the livestock section, or the part where you get punched in the face in the Ghost Train.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Another podst. I think the State Fair is similar to our County Shows. Though bigger, and over more days, I would think, being for the whole state. Only Devon would be bigger than one of your states, Texas for example, I gather, is quite big. I’d say Devon’s about the size of Australia, say. I wouldn’t want to exaggerate.

          Liked by 3 people

  10. I’m planning to maybe probably go to the fair this year. If I can go to some animal barns and the fine arts building without encountering too many anti-maskers I’ll consider it a success. That would be low expectations, I suppose.

    Liked by 3 people

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