Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Expectations and the Endeavor

Aaron had a furlough-mandated day off on Friday, which in my mind, could just as easily be known as furlough-mandated date day. When he told me about his day off I immediately started making a mental list of all the things I wanted us to do. Breakfast out, perusing a bookstore all afternoon, alone time while the kids were at school, early dinner out... On Thursday night we found out that the shuttle would be doing its flyover Friday morning. We knew we wanted to see it, but didn't really discuss how we would make that happen.

Friday didn't start off with flying colors. We rushed in the morning to get the kids off to school. After drop off we rushed downtown to see if we could find a place to watch the Endeavor do it's Sacramento flyover. I imagined we would watch the historic moment as we sat down at some cafe and enjoyed our breakfast and talked about all the other awesome things we would do all day. It would be a backdrop to our day. A historical sidenote.

Except we couldn't find said cafe. There was no way to know where, or even exactly when, the shuttle would flyover, so choosing an appropriate location was a challenge. Add into this scenario that it was going on 9:30am and we had been up for two hours already without the aid of coffee or food. We had planned to get breakfast after we ditched the kids. I was clinging to my dream of a cafe and a full breakfast and designer coffee; Aaron was clinging to the idea of bagels and cheap joe. We realized we had to make a choice, forgo the Historic Moment in favor of food and sanity, or trudge on and just find a place to watch the shuttle. 

We choose the latter. 

We finally located a parking garage with a reasonable view. We noted that a hundred other like minded folk had chosen the same spot as we elbowed our way to the edge of the roof to wait. I guess the beauty of being the last one to the party is that we didn't have to wait very long for the guest of honor. 

A few minutes after we had arrived, we began to hear and see crowds on other rooftops shout and point towards the Capitol. Seconds after that the shuttle came into sight and I gasped. People cheered and clapped and pointed and laughed. A dad told his kids, "Guys, that shuttle has been in space," and the kids nodded, not fully capable of grasping how awesome it was.

I wish I could say that my crankiness melted away in those few minutes of awe, but truth be told, as soon as we were back in the car, inching out of the parking garage, my bad mood rushed back. Delayed morning caffeine can do that to a girl.

Over breakfast Aaron began to outline chores he wanted to do when he got home. In an effort to salvage the day I had planned in my mind, I suggested a movie instead. We went to the movies, chose badly and sat through a movie that we witnessed no less than six people (who were clearly smarter than us) leave the theater and not return.

It was a day of unmet expectations from the moment it started. As I was editing my pictures of the shuttle I remembered the feeling of awe I had when I saw it. What work and commitment it must have taken to make that happen! It wasn't something that was done alone, but as a team.

One of the things I have been most surprised with over the years is how quickly we can go from "Oh yeah, you get me, like, really, really get me!" to "Do you even know me anymore?" It is frighteningly easy to forget that we are supposed to be a team. There's no "I" in....yeah it's a cliche, but fitting nonetheless.

I have to pay attention, work at it, communicate and commit to the team every single day of my life. Some days I have to remind myself, "I totally want to be in this thing and now I have to act like it." Sometimes I have to remind myself that every few minutes. Sometimes Aaron has to remind himself those very same words.

The other night someone asked our pastor how long he and his wife had been married and he said, "30 years, they have been 28 of the best years of my life!" We all laughed and his wife turned to me and said, "No, really! Some times have been hard!" I smiled at the truth of her words.

Some times are really hard. It should be obvious, but some days a reminder is good.


  1. I hear you! Over the years of marriage it seems to me that so many of our arguments and frustrations with eachother really stem from unmet expectations -- expecations either expressed or, most often, un-expressed. Sometimes we don't realize we have an expectation until it rears it's ugly head for lack of being met. That, and doesn't it seem like there are such high expectations on a date night (or day) when the times out are so few and far between? I am not sure what the answer is (somehow, *lowering* one's expectations doesn't sound quite right) but I agree with you it must involve teamwork and lots of grace. :)

  2. It's sad, because I kept thinking to myself all day "be direct, be direct, be direct." Easier said, than done! WHY is that?!?!?

  3. Wonderful! We long ago before vacations and now before days off together ask each other "so what do you have in mind for today? " so vacations aren't I thought we were going hiking and packing our lunch oh I thought we were spending all afternoon in a bistro /bookstore. No fun, sometimes we manage a bit of both...it has really helped our date days. But never would I ever attempt these delicate negotiations without caffeine,because that is frankly insane.


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