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Managing Expectations in The Time of Coronavirus

         (4th in an ongoing series on Acceptance in The Time of Coronavirus)

I’ve often talked and written about the importance of moderating our expectations if we wish to control less and accept more.  High expectations can hurt us in a lot of ways. ( See my post,“5 Ways High Expectations Hurt You”)

A recent occurrence made me realize that it’s even more important to manage our expectations in The Time of Coronavirus, given all the uncertainty and unknowns, and the emotional tolls it has taken on people.

A few days ago I visited my local pharmacy to pick up two prescriptions I had phoned in the week before.   Although the only customer in the store, I waited (with mask on) for what felt like an eternity while the pharmacist was speaking with another customer on the phone.

Truth be told, the wait was actually only about 5 minutes, but I found myself getting anxious and impatient.   I had wanted to get in and out of there.

When the pharmacist finally got off the phone, she informed me that only one of the prescriptions was ready, because the other one had expired.

Oh brother, I told myself.  I would now have to come back again when the other prescription was filled. Fortunately, I “cooled off.”    After all, the pharmacist was a sweet, kind person, who was doing her best during The Time of Coronavirus!

When I later reflected on the incident, I realized my expectations created my angst.   Specifically, I expected that

  1. It would be a quick and easy pick-up since I came several days after the pharmacist told me the prescriptions would be ready.
  1. That she would have called my doctor for a renewal, as she had done in the past.
  1. She would tell the phone caller that she would call back after taking care of her store customer—me. (Pretty presumptuous of me!)

And the all-inclusive expectation: 

That everything would be (and operate) the same as it had before coronavirus.  (Really?)

I know this is a silly little story, but these everyday types of occurrences can easily affect our serenity, if we let them, because of our expectations.

As I’ve said before, we need to cut people some slack!

So, bottom line, we need to manage our expectations better, lest we become agitated ourselves.  (See “Accepting Agitated People in The Time of Coronavirus”)

These are not normal times, and our so-called “normal” expectations don’t serve us well now, if they ever did!  

Simply put, they aren’t healthy for us.

So I encourage you to moderate, manage, and lower your expectations during the Time of Coronavirus.    My post “Let Go of Control by Moderating Your Expectations” will help you do that.

In the meantime,

Let It Go—and Accept “What Is!” 


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**To help make The Gifts of Acceptance  and Losing Control, Finding Serenity available to more people, I have lowered their ebook prices to $2.99.














  • cindy
    Posted June 18, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    One of my pet peeves which I am trying to work on is when store associates are on the phone while I’m waiting in line. I mean, I took the TIME and TROUBLE to get into my car, drive to the store, wait in line, blah blah blah so why should I have to wait while some lazy person just calls in and gets immediate service? Well recently, I was the person on the PHONE because I was physically unable to make it to the store So now I am a bit more patient about this. Also, I realize that someone must answer the phone and if not the in-person sales associate, who then?

    • Post Author
      Daniel A. Miller
      Posted June 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you Cindy for your example of the importance of moderating your expectations–of what people do or how they act)–and judging less. I’ve experienced the same thing; it can be frustrating. It helps me a lot when I remember that “my way” may not be the “right way.” And to be more humble!

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