Expectation vs. Reality

Expectation vs. Reality

Sifting 4 Life Lessons from Our Big Move

After many months of laborious effort waking up at dawn to pack-up a couple of boxes each day, I wanted nothing more than to wake-up to the day of our move. So I did… and yet it wasn’t how imagined it would be.

I held a vivid mental image of the day we drive off from our home of 13 years in DE and hit the road to our new home in TX. The stark contrast of expectation vs. reality hit me like a cinder block. There were some home repairs that still had to be completed D-I-Y style in our incumbent home and that labor consumed daylight. We were still packing even at the very last minute pressed to make rapid decisions of what we take and what had to let go of. In this posture, we’re bound to forget things – and we did.

My husband had to pick up a roof top cargo to make additional room in our car. He’s managed to somehow lose the keys to the cargo somewhere between walking out of the store, through the parking lot, into our car, and back home. So we combed through the concrete of where he recalls he walked on, and we switched to our bionic eyes to look for the keys. We didn’t find it.

Already delaying our departure time, he needed to make arrangements to install the cross bar system and hitch at a car shop because all his tools have been shipped out in our container pod. But first, he had to go back to the sports equipment store and confess that he lost the keys to a recent purchase. The store associate there looked at their master key slot that was empty… Thankfully there was one there who sorta served as “angel-in-disguise” and had an extra set of key that he gave to us at no charge.

There were last minute contingencies that whizzed past our blind side. We were novice movers as this is really the first time we’re embarking on a big move as a family. We were humbled by the fact that we likely can’t ever feel fully prepared for this, no matter how much I’ve over-planned the task. We make a conscious effort to see the big picture even though stress subdued the situation. In the midst of the craziness, we knew we had sit down as husband and wife to pray. It’s a proven antidote for tension, and it calibrated our attitude.

We had planned on heading out at 9AM but we ended up rolling out at 7PM. Each moment of our day is an opportunity to learn and grow. In that window of time, and through our 5 hour drive through the night to our first end point, plus 2 hours of stopovers, I digested some prominent lessons about life and all:

Delay is Not Defeat

I remember our business coach Ron Gelok emphasize this statement: “Delay is not defeat”. We can get held back by circumstances of our lives, but we must press on toward the goal. It’s never too late while we have breath in our lungs to set out into an adventure and do things that matter to us. It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you keep going.

Purging is Absolutely Necessary

We cannot hoard junk that take up valuable space in our life. We must clean house and do selective removal of things / relationships / memories of no value that constantly weighs us down. We thrive when what occupies our life is worthwhile. We can only make room for new things if we let go of the old.

Convenience is not going to push you to grow.

Shiela bernardo

Set an End Destination

This lesson was accentuated in a practical sense for us because we had booked all of our hotel accommodation through the 5 days that we’re on the road. We literally knew where we had to be at the end of each day. If we didn’t have that, we could very easily succumb to rearranging all of our plans until it was more convenient for us. But convenience is not going to push you to grow. It’s when we’re hard pressed that we develop character. Know where you must go, then map out the path to get there through rough terrain and smooth roads.

Narrow Your Focus

Driving at night time, the car’s headlight allows you to see all that you need to see to keep moving only 350-feet ahead. You don’t need to see the entire landscape, just the critical aspects to keep you moving. We focus on the illuminated path aware that it is adequate to get us to our destination. Often we’d like to see every variable and outcome before we make a move. But the truth is, the road is often revealed to us in motion not inaction.

This cross-country move reframed our thinking and these insights were ripe for the picking. We do have a choice either to drown in a state of overwhelm or we can rise to the occasion and make the most of the cards in your hand.

♥ Shiela Bernardo is a budget nerd who is keen to stay on track with her family’s financial goals. She perpetually seeks to demystify how to keep the house clean with two dynamic young daughters. She is a self-taught computer programmer balancing a career as Assistant Vice President in a Fortune 100 company. She blogs about family, faith, and finances in her spare time.

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