Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Expectation Management

We had been warned (accurately, I might add) about the 5 inches of snow that would be greeting us as we opened our front doors this morning. We pay a monthly fee to our homeowner’s association for a contractor to do yard work in the summer and snow removal in the winter. So, I assumed that my driveway would be cleared for my wife and I to leave for work, since the snow stopped late last evening. I was wrong.

People who know me know that I’m not a huge fan of snow (understatement of the year), or mornings (second understatement of the year). You can only imagine my delight that I was waking up, early, to shovel snow because the people we pay, had not. It took me about an hour to get the cars cleaned off and the driveway cleared.

As I was chatting with my neighbor who was also out to clean off his cars, I concluded, sarcastically, “I guess my expectations are just too high – to think that the people I pay to clear my driveway would come and clear my driveway in a time that seems pretty reasonable to me!”

As a matter of chat…

Can we avoid or handle disappointment better in our lives if we manage our expectations differently? How do you set expectations? Are they typically reasonable? High? Low? How do you judge that? Are there times where it’s appropriate to adjust expectations? Who has expectations for you? Are they being met?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brand Snob

I am (sometimes) a brand snob. If the generic works, I’m cool with it in the name of saving money. But there are certain things that HAVE to be name brand. A cheaper substitute will not do.

Q-tips, for instance. Have you ever tried the generic “cotton swab”? Terrible.
Razors. One time I tried a generic razor to save some dough…and ended up with a terribly painful and bloody mess. Shaving cream – generic. Shaving tools – name brand.

A pastor friend recently challenged me to think about the difference between relationship and fellowship. Simple relationship is often the generic substitute for real, authentic, whole fellowship among Christians.

As a matter of chat…

When do you demand the real deal? When it comes to relationships, am I demanding the best? Or am I satisfied with a cheap substitute? What am I doing to encourage authenticity in my relationships?