Resetting Expectations (Or Why I’m Building A Blanket Fort)

I don’t have any Okinawa adventure stories this week because COVID.

Sadly, COVID seems to be the reason behind so many questions. Where are you going this weekend? Nowhere because COVID. What are you doing today? Nothing because COVID. And since COVID cases here in the Okinawa Prefecture have been rising, in respect to my host nation and for my own safety, I opted to stay home this weekend.

At least I have a nice view at home. If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve been posting mostly ocean view photos⁠—a lot of ocean views—taken from my balcony.

Since I stayed home all weekend, I have no weekly adventures story. Not even a mini one. But even though I stayed home all weekend, I still came into work this morning (Monday) wondering where the weekend went.

And how the heck is it already the middle of August? But I digress.

So I arrive at work, bright and ready for a new week. But the morning decided to go full-out case of the Mondays.

My computer didn’t work right and I couldn’t get email. So I spent the first hour of work on the phone with tech support. But the computer still didn’t work right. So the help desk opened a work ticket to have someone fix it, but who knows when that will actually happen. And then a conference call I was on sounded like the speaker was in a big metal hole. The echo was almost deafening. And apparently it started when I joined the call. I tried to dial-in on two different phones, but still the echo remained. So I just hung up. Then my computer made a really strange noise.

A seriously weird noise. I expected smoke to start rising from it.

At this point, it was 9:30 in the morning. I had been at work for only 2 hours and nothing had worked right. So I asked my co-worker if I could just go home, build a blanket fort, and hide out for the rest of the day week.

I feel like most of 2020 has required the necessity of a blanket fort. Someplace to hide and ignore what’s happening outside. (And not just because of COVID.)

Because when I accepted this job, pre-COVID, I had certain expectations of living abroad and living on a sub-tropical island to boot. Going to the beach. Sea kayaking. Snorkling and learning to scuba dive. Hiking to amazing waterfalls. Touring the island. Eating delicious local food. Experiencing Okinawan and Japanese life. Visiting historical landmarks. Attending local and national festivals. Traveling to other nearby countries. Making new friends.

Not once did I expect that I would be staying home weekend after weekend and only venturing out to get food. But that’s life during a pandemic.

The great thing about humas is that we can adapt. We adapt out of necessity. We can change our expectations. I’ve learned to be flexible and reset my expectations. We will find a new normal. And I will eventually be able to do all the awesome and amazing things I have on my living abroad list.

But for now, I am focusing on appreciating what I have instead of bemoaning all the things I can’t do. I have a home. I have a job. I have lots of books and puzzles. I have access to the internet to communicate with my friends aroud the world (and to order more books and puzzles).

And because I am staying at home more, I am learning to be in the moment and not plan or worry for tomorrow or next weekend or next month.

I’m finding peace in watching the ocean instead of trying to cram in as much as possible into the day.

I’m appreciating the subtle ocean sunsets with the amazing colors instead of rushing to and fro.

I’m listening to my body and nature instead of blaring the radio or TV.

And I’m enjoying the simple pleasure of just sitting on my balcony, sipping my drink, and being zen in the moment.

I still have plans to have all sorts of adventures. When I hear of a resturant I should try, or a hike I show take, or historical site I should visit, I write it down. But I don’t focus on what I can’t do right now. I just make a note of the suggestion and then tuck it away with the rest of the list. The time will again come for adventures.

But for now, I’m going to enjoy being still in the moment.

And of course, I am going to build a blanket fort. (Because who doesn’t love the comfort and coziness of a blanket fort? Plus, it makes an excellent reading nook.)

Besides, every once in a while, we just need to just hide away from the world for a bit.

Like today.

One thought on “Resetting Expectations (Or Why I’m Building A Blanket Fort)

  1. Kellie

    I feel alot of what you wrote today and have been for a long time. I love that you wrote, “being zen in the moment”, “we change our expectations” and “we adapt out of necessity.” So very fitting for the time we are living in today. I am so stealing your mermaid meme as it is fitting as a whole. As a parent of a school age child, it has been very daunting of the what to do about school and just feeling damed if you do and damned if you don’t. It sucks, but it is not to stop me or us from living our lives. I am glad that we can be outside in our yards and playing and going for walks. I don’t know if and when our “new normal” or “normal” will return but I know that it doesn’t seem so black and white anymore, but alot of gray and unknown, but just for today, it doesn’t seem bad to slow down and just be.

    Liked by 1 person

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