We missed all the big snow in Texas last week, but our new neighborhood has been planning something called “Blizzard Bash” for quite some time, so we weren’t too sad. The promise was that the weather called for snow, no matter the temperature outside. They were bringing in 10,000 pounds of snow along with hot cocoa, cider, music, and Santa. So we invited all our friends to join us for a snowball fight!
We’ve been looking forward to it for weeks.
Amid our seriously delayed Christmas decorating, card stuffing and tree buying Saturday, we stopped everything at 3pm to pull all the winter coats, boots, hats, gloves, sleds and snowball makers down from the attic. Along with loads of anticipation, we piled it all in the car and headed over to “Blizzard Bash”. It should be said here, that I’m probably a lot responsible for setting the expectations a little high. I’m a bit of a dreamer, you know. And when the boys asked me how in the world they were going to get it to snow “on demand” in Frisco, I told them it was just like the snow machines on the ski slopes. They would, of course, have a giant machine attached to a water hose spewing snow all over the field.
It turns out, that’s not how they make snow in Texas.
As soon as we rounded the corner, anticipating the blizzard, the sounds of disappointment were audible. In the middle of the giant field at the neighborhood center, the patch of snow looked quite tiny. There were no snow machines spewing snow. In fact, when we arrived, there were only a few little tiny kiddos playing in the snow. None of the boy’s friends had arrived yet. And there were certainly no snowball fights going down.
They immediately decided to run off and play football instead of trying out the snow.
Even though there were no hills, or even bumps to sled over, I unloaded all the sleds and supplies. The other kids (& dads) started experimenting, one by one with the Texas snow conditions. And of course, before long, all the big boys decided they wanted in on the fun.
What once looked like a tiny patch of snow, suddenly looked like a white winter playground.
They made sled-loads of snowballs and nailed each other from all directions. They were asking for coats and gloves for new friends. They made up new rules for the game of “snow football”. They filled their bellies, faces, and hands with chocolate and marshmallows.
The “blizzard” turned out to be the highlight of their day, after all.
It was a great lesson on expectations. Having high expectations is a good thing, when it drives you to do your best work. But when high expectations blind you from seeing the blessings and opportunities that are right in front of your eyes, they can easily steal your joy. It’s such a gift that our minds can dream up such incredible things, but sometimes when those dreams meet with reality it can be a little jolting.
Pay attention to your expectations this week.
Notice opportunities to adjust your expectations, of yourself and others, to make room for more connection and joy.
It’s all about connection.
It doesn’t really matter if the meal turns out right, or the strand of lights right in the middle just went out. Sharing life with the ones you love is what makes all the difference.
Even a tiny patch of snow transforms into a winter wonderland when it’s shared with friends.
So in the middle of the holiday hustle, try to let go of perfection and go love your people.
to more love,