Last Updated on February 9, 2023 by Lori Geurin
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 had 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.
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How It All Happened
Let me preface this next part by saying we love our neighborhood and 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 on 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.
This was a bummer because a neighborhood swimming pool would have been a much better use of the money to us and our kids.
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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 and then covering it 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 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 to help you cope when things don’t go as 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 growth opportunities. 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 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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40 thoughts on “Disappointment Hack: When You Want A Swimming Pool But Get A Dirt Road”
Writing a blog post does help me deal with my issues! 😉 Gotta love having an outlet!
True that, Krystal!
Yikes! I would be pretty annoyed if that had happened to me. When I’m feeling disappointed I like to vent about it with a close friend. Writing about it helps too lol
Friends are pretty awesome aren’t they, Marielle?!
That is a bummer, but is definitely important to teach our kids how to deal with disappointment. These are some great tips. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, Shannon! 🙂
I really appreciate that you were able to take this disappointment and turn it into a such an valuable teaching moment. On a practical note, you might think about getting some booties for your pup’s tender feet.
Thanks, Renee! Yes, I’m definitely going to have to look into the doggie booties! For now, he’s just walking circles around our circle drive and yard and missing his walks in the neighborhood.
Our HOA is wonderful but we’re moving at the end of the month. However, the community where we’re going seems even better with so many more amenities. Disappointment is a natural feeling and definitely shouldn’t be repressed.
Oh, that’s wonderful, Heather – Enjoy! And I agree completely. 🙂
I usually take it in stride but it does build up over time. I end up having a good cry once or twice a year to deal with all the pent up emotions.
Having a good cry is a good release one in a while isn’t it, Aneta?!
It is so healthy to teach your children appropriate ways to deal with disappointment. Have they gotten into journaling?
Great question, Rachel! The boys, not so much. But the girls have journals and write occasionally. I think it’s a great habit to get into. If my hands are too tired to write out (or type out my thoughts) at the end of a long day I sometimes keep an electronic journal and speak it aloud (voice to text) on my phone. It helps me process through thoughts and feelings I’m having.
The e we are looking at is in an HOA. The pool does have its advantages, I must admit!
Hi Kelly, Hope you find one you love!
We live in an HOA as well and sometimes it is really difficult to deal with. I would have much preferred the pool as well!
I hear you Reesa. Pools are pretty great, aren’t they?
I’m a huge advocate of learning to cope with negative emotions instead of running away from them Processing is everything!
Wow, you hit the nail on the head here, Chel! Negative emotions always have a way of coming out so it’s best to deal with them up front.
I can’t believe you all have to pay for the roads to be fixed!! In Australia our local councils organise repairs of roads. I can definitely understand being disappointed that the money went to repairing a road rather than a neighbourhood pool!
I know, right?! How wonderful that they cover your road repairs there in Australia! That sure sounds nice, Cassie. Living in Australia sounds pretty cool too. 🙂
I love my neighborhood as well, but there are also some things that we disagree on. It’s so sad that you have to deal with this. I hope your neighborhood finds a compromise to make everyone happy.
Thank you for the kind words, AnnMarie. I guess you can’t win them all.
Unfortunately, I don’t see the road situation changing any time soon. But, there are many things I love about living here so I’m going to try focusing on those for now.
I used to live on a road like that–they are horrible. They do make ‘shoes’ for dogs. I think they are mainly to keep the doggies feet from getting burned on hot pavement.
Agreed! I’ve never heard about the doggie shoes, but I’m going to have to check this out. The trick will be getting our dog, Max to allow me to put four little shoes on his four little feet.
I hope they make them with velcro! Can you imagine tying four little doggie shoes while your dog is biting at them? The thought of this makes me laugh. Thanks for sharing this, Cindy!
When I get frustrated I make it well known and try to figure out why and what to do. It can put me down. I’d love a neighborhood pool!
I understand, Kristina. Dealing with frustrating situations (and people) can bring out a wide range of strong emotions. It’s so good that you reflect on the situation and work to figure things out.
I hear you about wanting the neighborhood pool. I hope you get one!
Disappointment and frustration makes me want to find the root cause and then a solution so then I can be happy. Those are not good emotions to carry because they produce stress.
So true, Jeanine! Processing the feelings that come out when we’re dealing with frustrations is essential to moving through the situation and coming up with positive solutions.
This is something I’m working on myself. I used to skip the processing step and stuff my feelings, and you can only do that for so long. It’s not healthy (or helpful).
I’m sorry you’d have to deal with this. I guess it’s all part of being in a community. It does help to write a post about it. Writing is always a good release.
Thank you, Karen. In the grand scheme of things I know it’s not that big a deal. And you’re so right. When you’re a member of a community you must able to compromise and deal with problems when they come up.
I totally agree about writing! It’s cathartic and helps me work through life to write it out.
Kids need to deal with adversity because no matter how great they are they will have disappointments in life and will have to deal with them. Good life lesson post.
Thanks, Melissa! As much as I would like to protect them from the real world sometimes I think keeping your kids in a bubble often does more harm than good, leaving them unprepared for situations they’ll inevitably have to deal with later. Thanks for your comment!
With regards to writing a blog post, I think it generally works to turn any negative situation into a positive one and think of it as a learning experience of some sort… re-frame your thoughts.
Great explanation, Cynthia! Writing things out is an excellent way to analyze different angles to a situation I may not have considered before.
Disappointment is something we all have to deal with unfortunately. I could not imagine living in an HOA though. I remember my one big thing when we were buying was no HOA.
So true, Jessica. Disappointment is part of life and can be part of the growth process I think. There are definite pros and cons to living in an HOA, for sure. 😉
I live on a corner lot so my house faces the main road, but my driveway is down a dirtroad. An actual dirt road. There are craters so deep on the road that it’s like driving on the moon. Not to mention the dirt everywhere.
Hey Robin, Reading this reminds me that someone always has it worse than you do and I have much to be thankful for, despite the dirt road. As much as I dislike dealing with the dirt and dust, I’m thankful that we don’t have giant craters and I’m so sorry that you do! Thanks for the reality check. 🙂