Have you ever felt disappointed by a person or situation in your life? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably experienced disappointment several times before. Keep reading for tips on how to deal with disappointment…But first a personal story.
This was the first day of school. The boys are heading back to college soon, and now with David and the girls at school every day it’s just me and our Boston Terrier, Max.
So after getting the kids to school this morning Max and I headed out for a walk around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, we barely made it out of the driveway because Max was having trouble walking on our new road.
So our neighborhood recently got a chip and seal road and it was hurting Max’s feet to walk. This little dog who normally lives for his walks had the most distressed expression on his face.
Sad, right!? Poor puppy. So we headed back inside.
Now some of you may be thinking Max should toughen up, or perhaps he’s too delicate, and maybe you’re right. (He is our baby after all.) But I’ve never seen him pass up a walk. He’s usually pulling me because he’s so excited.
We live in a sprawling neighborhood in the country, made complete with beautiful rolling hills and fields of wildflowers.
Every dog’s dream.
How It All Happened
Let me preface this next part by saying we love our neighborhood and our neighbors. We simply have different opinions about how our money should be spent.
So here is what happened with the road situation: Over a year ago a few members of our neighborhood decided we needed to repair the road due to a few minor cracks. Overall the asphalt road was in good repair and was smooth to drive on.
So we all voted whether we agreed that the repairs were necessary. Needless to say, we along with others didn’t vote for it, but we were (apparently) outnumbered.
When you have two kids in college and two on the way let’s just say your financial priorities are a bit different from someone who is retired.
We were given an estimate of the repairs and everyone was to pay their part (even those who didn’t think it necessary).
Because that’s how a Homeowner’s Association works.
Which was a bummer because, to us and our kids, a neighborhood swimming pool would have been a much better use of the money.
Looking at the Bright Side
The benefits of a neighborhood pool include
- good for health and fitness
- a great place to socialize and get to know the neighbors better
- a fun place for the kids to spend time (and stay out of trouble)
But those in charge of the project decided they wanted a chip and seal road. (In other parts of the country you might say “tar and chip“). It’s basically a low-cost alternative to asphalt. It’s made by spreading a layer of toxic, messy tar then covering that with rough gravel.
I believe the hope was because it’s summer that we would have blazing hot weather that would bake the gravel into the tar, but that hasn’t happened, at least not yet. Since they did the road we haven’t had the hot August weather that’s typical for Missouri.
So it’s dusty and the gravel is loose, like a dirt road. When you drive on it the gravel goes flying. It’s a far cry from the smooth blacktop road we used to enjoy.
But, it would make for a good movie scene.
Like a no holds barred sort of Thelma and Louise we’re bustin’ outa’ this town sorta’ scene. The rebels (without a cause) roar down the dusty dirt road, car top down, hair flyin’ everywhere, tunes cranked up.
You get the picture.
Needless to say the asphalt road we had before had a few minor bumps and cracks but was much better than this, but you can’t win them all, right?!
Disappointment Hack 101 – How To Deal With Disappointment
We teach our kids how to deal with disappointment and roll with the punches. But when things don’t turn out how we’d hoped do we take our own advice? (Talking to myself too)
Here are some tips that can help you cope when things don’t go the way you’d hoped.
- Deal with your emotions. Allow yourself to feel your feelings (like Maddie is doing in the back to school photo above) and don’t stuff them down. Once you’ve processed your emotions it is easier to move forward.
- See the big picture. Consider that people are unique and have differing perspectives and opinions. Keep an open mind and allow them to have space. Don’t try to control others.
- Don’t expect perfection. People are not perfect so don’t expect them to be. When you are flexible with others and don’t get uptight about your schedule it takes the pressure off and encourages a more relaxed vibe and atmosphere.
- Move forward. Accept that disappointment and frustration are part of life. But they are also opportunities for growth. Learn to accept things you cannot change and address the aspects you can.
- Write a blog post about it. Do you see what I did there? Or, write about it in a journal.
Summary – Dealing With Disappointment
Disappointment is a part of life. Whether you want a swimming pool and get a dirt road or you’re dealing with something bigger and more life-changing, learning to deal with life’s frustrations is essential. Practicing the tips I shared above will help build resilience and strength through life’s struggles.
For a great way to connect with your neighbors, check out The Ultimate Guide to Turning Your Home’s Yard into a Community Garden
How do you deal with frustration and disappointment?
Please share your thoughts and tips below!
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