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Wake Up Mood

Cali had a post yesterday about her mum, how she starts each day, regardless of where she is in life, filled with hope.  Because today just might be the day.  The day that whatever she is waiting for (in this case, a job) comes through.

It waxes and wanes for me, based on how much potential I think the day actually holds.  I feel like I wake up each morning and weigh my day.  And sometimes, I am pleasantly surprised that more happens than I expected.  But a lot of the time, I’m disappointed that something I thought would occur doesn’t.  And how well I weighed the day before tends to factor into whether I wake up like Cali’s mum, full of hope for the day, or whether I feel cat-like and needy, hating that my emotions are influenced by the actions (or non-actions) of others.

It’s terrible to feel in limbo; as if nothing is within your control except removing the expectation from your mind.

My favourite book growing up (and still) was the Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.  I think the reason the story grabbed me is because on an ordinary day, Milo comes home to find a present in his room.  He unwraps the gift and sets up the tollbooth to play with it, and then finds himself on this incredible adventure.  And that was sort of how I wanted to live my life, waking up each day like Cali’s mum with this understanding that something wonderful could happen during the day.  That all of us could be like Milo and receive an unexpected gift–though perhaps not a toy.  Good news is always welcome, but I consider it a gift when someone writes me a nice email or links to my blog from theirs.

But I seem to have lost that anything-could-happen mindset a bit along the way.

A friend once told me that the key to happiness is having no expectations.  That our expectations are what creates unhappiness.  That if I wasn’t waiting for anything (a child, good news, an email from a friend), I could never be disappointed, and I would simply delight in anything that came my way.

Which is all well and good, but you can’t divorce yourself from your personality.  I am so tied to my expectations that I have post-it notes to remind me what I’m waiting for just in case I forget.

Are you the type who wakes up with hope because something good could happen today (after all, it has to happen some time)? The type who wakes up filled with dread?  Or the type who weighs her day factoring in possible odds based on the last few days?  Or…something else entirely?


1 Heather { 03.11.10 at 9:54 am }

9 chances out of 10, I’m the one who wakes up begging for it to be Saturday. You know, the day when the husband lets me sleep past 6:30? When I have help? heh.

I’d like to think I wake up with hope, but truth be told, most of the time my mood is foretold by the little bundle of joy screaming/laughing/yelling/fussing/whining/smiling at me from the next bed!

2 K { 03.11.10 at 10:24 am }

Wow- that’s a good question. I feel like I wake up when I have something pressing like a job, or a test result, etc etc neither with hope nor with dread or with weighing the odds. Instead its this helpless feeling that I lack control on this particular outcome to some degree. In this context I hope it will work out, I dread if it won’t and I factor in the odds of past situations and the likelihood now of something happening or not happening.

I guess I do a combination of all three.

I think that’s called anxiety 🙂

3 susy { 03.11.10 at 10:29 am }

I really think it depends on how things are flowing and going. More than not, I wake up hopeful and remain that way most of the day. Then there are those days when I just, can’t. I tend to have expectations too. In *my* they aren’t high, they’re just little scenarios I play in my head of how it *can* turn out, and I’d say probably 90% of the time, it’s totally opposite of what does happen. I’ve tried not to be this way anymore, but it still happens. So I decided to work on how I react to the outcome vs. my expectation.

4 Rachel { 03.11.10 at 12:06 pm }

I definitely used to have a ton of expectations and would constantly be disappointed by them not being fulfilled. Giving up on having a biological child changed that for me. Sure, I have hope sometimes and worry and can get disappointed when what I hope will happen doesn’t, but it is not nearly as strong as it used to be in me. I wake up in wonder nearly every day that I have a child at all, and because he wasn’t created through the combined DNA of my husband and me, we have no idea or expectation about who he will become. We can guess in part by the few interactions we have with his birth parents, but as the environment where he is growing is so completely different from theirs, we cannot know how that will make him different than his birth parents. So sure I have some frustration or disappointment issues every day — mostly with a lack of adult human interaction and the freedom and joy of being me by myself from time to time — I still feel that wonder every day that I cannot believe that I am actually a mom and that someone else has such an integral part in that fact, and that to have expectations about the person he is going to be or what is going to happen is just useless in the end. We just don’t have that kind of control over our lives.

5 Heather { 03.11.10 at 12:23 pm }

Depends on what time of morning I am woken up.

6 a { 03.11.10 at 2:05 pm }

I generally just wake up grumpy. We are NOT morning people in my house.

I think there’s hope – like I hope my annoying coworkers don’t irritate me too much today – and there’s HOPE – like I HOPE that someone will recognize that I am a fantastic employee and give me a raise. So, I start my days with hope, and on special occasions, I have HOPE.

And let me just qualify that “start my day” portion to mean at least 1 hour after I emerge from the shower…

7 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 03.11.10 at 2:07 pm }

I think I mostly just wake up, free of good or bad expectations.

8 Flying Monkeys { 03.11.10 at 2:07 pm }

I do have to fight my expectations where people are concerned. I’ve lowered them a great deal and yet I still manage to be disappointed. I think I base my mood on how things have been going, which creates a rut. I have the power within myself to change somethings about my life that would make me much happier but I seem to be shackled to my fears and past disappointments.
Whether or not I get coffee is also a factor.

9 S { 03.11.10 at 2:12 pm }

I am in 100% agreement with your friend’s statement that the key to happiness is having no expectations. The majority of emotional/psychological pain I’ve experienced in my life is because someone or something (including myself) did not meet my expectations. It is, though, extremely difficult not to have expectations. At least, it is for me.

Most days I wake up feeling pretty neutral. I don’t expect it to be either a good or bad day necessarily. Like most people, I am more optimistic about a day where I’m not working or a day which I know is likely to be routine, but it’s been a while since I truly dreaded any day. . . which probably says something about my life.

10 HereWeGoAJen { 03.11.10 at 2:20 pm }

I wake up happy. Well, once I wake up. Since I am awoken now, it sometimes takes me a little while to be Awake even after I am awake.

11 niobe { 03.11.10 at 2:38 pm }

Every morning when I wake up, I’m cheerful and optimistic and can’t wait to see what the day will bring.

Basically, it’s all downhill from there.

12 Katie { 03.11.10 at 2:42 pm }

I completely agree that happiness is about having no expectations. I think, earlier in life, I had a lot of expectations about where I was going or what was going to happen. But I really don’t have expectations anymore, or at least I try not to.

That said, I still don’t wake up feeling happy every day. Unless I’m feeling rushed or tired, I wake up pretty much in the middle: not too happy, not too sad.

13 serenity { 03.11.10 at 2:43 pm }

I wake up neutral, though I confess on the days where the alarm rings too soon because I’m tired I am pretty grumpy about my mornings. I’m not really what you would call a morning person – takes me a while to wake up fully, though.

I have to admit that I agree with your friend 100%, at least as it relates to being sad because something didn’t happen the way you expected it to. For me, once I let go of the planning process which, for me, was fraught with expectation, I have found happiness I never thought I’d have.

Granted, things in my life are going pretty damn well now, too. But I definitely make a habit of cataloguing the things for which I’m thankful for right NOW and having little to no expectation of future happiness. I like to think it’s me just living in the here and now, instead of trying to visualize a future which may or may not happen.


14 Kim { 03.11.10 at 2:49 pm }

I wake up thinking we’re one day closer to being parents. Whether we’re in a waiting stage, going for bloodwork, going for a procedure, whatever. I talk a lot about my shortened timeframe and how I’ve reduced my outlook to milestones that are much shorter than the average person, but it makes the wait more bearable. Today or tomorrow, we get a call from the RE. Worst case scenario, we have our appt on Monday. Saturday we have a dinner I’m really looking forward to. And tomorrow starts the weekend. And that’s how far my life extends right now. We’ll deal with Tuesday when I get there. 🙂 So, today is just one day closer than yesterday was. I’ll take it.

15 Sarah { 03.11.10 at 4:00 pm }

I used to wake up filled with anxiety and dread at the day before me. Now, since I’ve quit my job, I wake up filled with wonder and a little bit of confusion…is this really my life?
I would say how I wake up depends most on how I’ve slept though, most times. After nights filled with nightmares, dreams of friends’ pregnancy announcements, etc. I wake up filled with deep sadness…

16 Geochick { 03.11.10 at 4:20 pm }

I think that I mostly wake up neutral-ish/annoyed that I have to go to work and that it’s another day of feeling stuck. I think during TTC I was more hopeful upon awakening since it occasionally meant I could take a test and wait for 3 minutes with baited breath to find out….negative again. This infertility sh*t sure has kicked my a$$. I agree with the expectations statement but I’m way too tied to my expectations and how pissed I am that my parent-life is so not going according to plan.

17 Katie { 03.11.10 at 4:25 pm }

Good question…I’d like to think I’m hopeful each day…but I don’t think that is the case too much any more. I feel like I’m in survival mode right now.

18 ShellyG { 03.11.10 at 4:40 pm }

Most days I seem to wake up with a dread that morphs to hope when I emerge from the shower. What I do try to do everyday, however, is remember to live in gratitude and abundance. Even during the sh!$$!est of days, I make an effort to flip negative thoughts and statements to positive ones. Some days it’s easier than others, but I try!

19 B { 03.11.10 at 4:57 pm }

It’s not so much the waking up, but I do get annoyed at how predicatble I am and yet I take no account for it. EG. I don’t work on Fridays, and I always plan to do lots of things, but the fact is it is my cry-day and I pretty much spend it doing grief work from the last failed cycle, or the confusion of watching someone I love have her 3rd and 4th babies, or whatever…….. but every Thursday I think “tomorrow I’ll…….”

20 edenland { 03.11.10 at 9:39 pm }

I hate waking up. For one split second I’m ok then BAM! All my worries of the week hit me. My self-analysis, all my bullshit.

I’m getting much better around it, though. In AA, there was this famous American guy called Bob Earle. He said that waking up in the morning, there would be a vulture at the end of his bed, looking at him. Waiting for him to open his eyes.

“Ahhh, there you are, arsehole.” The vulture would say. “I’ve been waiting for you. You really are a miserable piece of shit.”

And the vulture would proceed to peck at him, knock him down before he even got up.

I wonder if it’s only alcoholics who can identify with this, such terrible negative self-talk … or “normal” people as well.

At around 8pm each night. I feel like I can be at ease. I wished *that* is how I felt each morning!



21 tash { 03.11.10 at 10:21 pm }

Dude, I’m happy if I just wake up. I put my feet on the floor and my biggest concern is when I can drink some coffee. I don’t think about it one way or another — what happens, happens. Sometimes I read my horoscope at the end of the day just to see if it was right but I rarely go in with an expectations, hopeful or dreadful.

22 Annie { 03.11.10 at 10:27 pm }

Hope is my frenemy – hanging around offering encouragement and then when I start believing something good might happen, it stabs me in the back. Like today, I got approved for the IVF Cost Sharing program at my clinic (wahoo?) and THEN hubby comes home in a foul mood and announces he thinks he’s going to get fired just any day now. After all something good has to happen sometime? . . . Well, I’m waiting

23 Kristi { 03.11.10 at 10:33 pm }

I am a hopeful person trying really hard to appreciate all the small things in life. For me that comes from god and my faith. Remember that movie with Meryl Streep and Renee Zelweger “One True Thing” and the mom says “It’s so much easier to be happy. It’s so much easier to choose to love the things that you have, instead of always yearning for what you’re missing, or what it is that you’re imagining you’re missing. It is so much more peaceful.”
That could be my motto if I had one. I chose to be happy and thank god for my blessings.

24 coffeegrl { 03.12.10 at 6:40 am }

I try to “live in the moment” and to enjoy every day for what it is. Am I successful? Sometimes but not as often as I’d like to be- that’s for sure.

25 queenie { 03.12.10 at 6:45 pm }

This post so perfectly captures where I am at right now.

I would say that there is no rhyme or reason to whether I wake up feeling hopeful or incredibly disenchanted. I wish there was. Some days I feel great, and some days I’m just not feelin’ it.

26 Kir { 03.16.10 at 1:57 pm }

well if I wake up tingling or numb, I guess I just wish I didn’t get these headaches. But normally (because I’m still alive and I have John and Gio and Jacob) it might be too early, I might be wishing I could win the lottery and lounge in bed, but generally I think I do wake up thinking, “today good things could happen, it might be a good day” and I try to go with that.

if i wake up with a headache , all bets are off ;P

27 Bea { 03.19.10 at 7:58 am }

I admit to not reading the comments so stop me if you’d heard this one…

…but what about finding happiness in the process of expectation itself? Sort of like relishing the possibility, rather than trying to shield yourself from possibilities or deferring the enjoyment until the possibility becomes a reality? Does any of this make sense?

Or is that the kind of mindset you’ve lost?


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