So Santa failed to make it this Christmas for many homes. On the news, there are lots of irate and furious people. I think this is a useful moment to reflect on the reasons people are frustrated here and see if there's anything useful to learn.
I've been trying to have more moderate and reasonable expectations for people and things, and to be accepting and indifferent to things like delays. I don't always succeed, but I'm sure I'm doing better than I used to.
- Perhaps there's too much emphasis put on the specific date and time. Perhaps it doesn't matter if parcels and gifts are a day or two late.
- Perhaps it's a problem that many kids believe there is a fantastical person named Santa who is obliged to reward them for questionably good behaviour by bringing them gifts on a specific date. Perhaps it's difficult for parents to explain the delay without disillusioning them. Perhaps it's not worthwhile lying to your children, given that reality happily and necessarily contradicts lies.
- Perhaps people worry too much about things working out a specific way. Perhaps people could try to be more flexible.
- Perhaps people make themselves unhappy unnecessarily by being intentionally inflexible.
I used to get very frustrated very easily, but I think that was because I maintained a very high level of stress. Since I gave up on stress, I've been much less frustrated with the world around me. I spend much less time angry at others (almost never) and when I do, I try to figure out why and what I can change in myself to change that. I don't want to hold unreasonable expectations for others, and if I find myself holding them, I want to drop them.
I wouldn't say Christmas has gone the way I would have wanted. There was a friend I had hoped to see that I haven't gotten to. There was a material item I had hoped to acquire but didn't. There was a movie I wanted to see, but haven't been able to*. I've managed to be comfortable with all of that, which I'm grateful for. (* regarding the film, I've actually been affected by the circumstances, but not specifically failing to see the film itself, as I don't think seeing films in theatres or in a timely manner is particularly.)
I've gotten better at being on time myself (because it matters to some others) and not worrying if other people aren't on time (because I'd want others to understand when I encounter delays).
So, my key to avoiding disappointment and maintaining happiness is trying to minimise unreasonable expectations and to avoid blaming others when plans don't work out. It doesn't always work, but it has helped. :)