We’re headed home back to Oregon in the HaRVey after spending 3 months on the road. As I write this, we’ve already made it to Arizona where we’re staying with friends through the New Year. We’re loving the cloudless sky, sunny, 60-degree days.
On our way to Tucson, driving through Texas and New Mexico, we knew it would be long and flat, but that was about it.
As we rumbled down the highway we started noticing cotton fields. Like e-ver-y-where. As far as your eye could see, in every direction, cotton. Who knew cotton grew in Texas? I had no idea.
Then the cotton fields turned to oilfields with wellheads. Again, as far as the eye could see in all directions. Hundreds of them all over. I’ve never seen anything like it.
We then came across the White Sands National Monument, one of the World’s great natural wonders. 275 square miles of white hilly gypsum sand dunes. In the middle of nowhere. I’d never even heard of them before. We stopped to hike through a part of it and watch kids and adults alike giddily sledding down the hills. There was no way to know from a picture, and being there in person even, if it was sand or snow.
Later that night we pulled into a state park called the City of Rocks where an amazing grouping of large volcanic rocks are just sitting out in the open amongst the flat terrain. We watched both the sunset and the sunrise from those rocks. Wow!!
What I noticed about those couple of days was that I honestly had no expectations of what we would find. I didn’t decide beforehand that the time would be amazing or horrible.
And that was a switch for me. I know I often do have expectations of what a place, person, or event will be like. When my pre-conceived expectations aren’t met, I often feel disappointed.
Without those expectations, everything became more interesting and fun.
It was like living in the world of a child where everything is new for the first time. You experience a sense of wonder, curiosity, and awe.
I think that’s missing in our busy, go from one thing-- to the next, adult world. We build up expectations based on past experience so we can't fully enjoy the cool things that often happen.
Imagine waking up each day and not have any expectation for what the day will hold. And be excited about what does show up!
Wishing you an unexpected start to 2014!
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