The Art of Anticipation

I’ve got a golden ticket.

It’s a ticket to a magical place full of wonder. There are edible plants and astonishing creatures. There are mysteries. There is magnificence. There are strange and unpredictable events. Some of them benefit me, some leave me feeling like I’ve been blown up into a giant blueberry and sent to the juicing room to be juiced.

I began my journey to this place, filled with wonder. I licked wallpaper, ate dog biscuits, crawled into tiny spaces and was in awe at every turn. The further into this place I’ve ventured, the more cautious I have become. I don’t laugh as much. And, I don’t lick wallpaper or eat dog biscuits anymore. Partly because wallpaper tastes disgusting and I realised dog biscuits were for dogs, but the point is, I once was curious and adventurous enough to try them.

Although it bares a remarkable resemblance, my golden ticket is not to Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Had you fooled there for a second, didn’t I? In actual fact, my golden ticket is to life. And, there are no guarantees in this place. I keep thinking there are though. I keep expecting guarantees. Even when I don’t think I am, I am. And when things don’t turn out as I think they should… that’s when find I get blue (and need to be sent to that damn juicing room). Expectations are my kryptonite. See the chart I created below for a breakdown.

Expectations, Reality & Resilience

I’m not saying that it is wrong to have expectations. In fact, we need them. It is important we have high expectations around how we are to be treated, for example. Similarly, plans, goals and dreams are an essential part of being a vibrant human being.

Where things can go awry is when we get formulaic about life: If I do x, then I should and will get y for a result. I am a total sucker for this, and like Julia Stone, I blame you, Hollywood. I have had to do a lot of unlearning in this department. The pentecostal prosperity message I was accosted with as a child certainly has not helped with this either. No. But, that’s another blog post.

I like to think I am a realist, but I’m not. I’m a depleted romantic trying to clutch onto the security of certainty. Following dreams gets to be just exhausting when you encounter what feel like endless valleys. I tell myself, just stop expecting anything too much and you’ll be fine. But when I do this, I die a little bit inside. I don’t want to be fine. I want to be alive. I want to hope and dream and become.

Lately I’ve been looking for a full-time job. I’ve always landed on my feet in this area. Always managed to find interesting and satisfying work with ease. This coupled with the fact that we recently had a door slammed in our face direction-wise, meant that I would snap up a job immediately, as that was what I was owed, right? Wrong. It hasn’t happened like that. As a result, I’ve experienced some inner turbulence, which has reminded me of a tune my brother, 11 years my senior composed on the piano in response to his frustrated efforts to break into the IT sector as a graduate in his early 20s. The piece was entitled Unemployed. It was a long series of dark, disturbed, disjointed, foreboding and rather hilarious crashing notes. He is not a musician, at all, but he captured the space well. The good news is I have managed to curb the self-destructive talk and become a bit more philosophical about it all.

I asked myself, if expectations are a form of belief, of faith, then how do I manage them, so I don’t feel like a deflated balloon every time things go a different way to what I imagined?

The answer to this struck me the other week, in the middle of a coffee shop. It’s not a new thought. It was something I just needed reminding of at this specific juncture of life. It was simply this: nothing will unfold as you expect it to, but it will be ok and maybe it will be even better than ok. Roll with it.  Since having accepted this notion, I have experienced an uncanny calm spread through me, like a warming mug of hot chocolate.

So, my aim is not to quash my expectations. It’s to throw them open. It’s about trusting that some of those seemingly ‘crappy’ life experiences are potentially opening up opportunities that will take me to a whole new place. When I think about the surprise arrival of my daughter and a bunch of seemingly impossible challenges that enshrouded her arrival, which ultimately were the makings of me, I know that is the case.

Life really is a little bit like Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. You never know what you’re going to stumble into. So, here’s the deal, I am going to keep open, anticipate and wonder at strange and unimagined rooms, which I never thought I would find myself in. I’m not going to get fixated on the fact that certain doors led to rooms which were not as wonderful as I was thinking they would be. I’m going to keep moving through the factory and anticipate adventure.

Do you have any examples of how unexpected challenges yielded some gold? I’d love to hear about them.

MIO

DIY Village

Feeling isolated?

Living half way between no one you know and nowhere?

Have some key players in your world completely dropped the ball?

Driving an hour each way to catch up with a pal for a coffee?

Kids driving you around the bend?

Are your family and friends spread across the globe?

Is everyone you know ‘caught up’?

Afraid you’ll die surrounded by cats and empty pizza boxes?

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Here’s just a sample of some of the thousands of would-be Villagers we have on offer for you to choose from….

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AMY

Amy has a talent for organisation. Not does she like to alphabetize, colour- code, file, label and deal with all of her administration and accounting, she would get a real kick out of unpicking and sorting out your neglected stacks. Superannuation, insurance claims, tax, appointments. You name it. She’ll claim it and make sense of it and put it in some sort of gorgeous Kiki K accessory, so you know exactly what is going on. This one is a keeper.

BETTY-ANNE

Betty-Anne knows that a clear space enables clear thinking. She gets a real buzz out of tucking into all of those grubby corners you miss and making them shine. Bathrooms and enormous piles of washing are her specialty. Being a firm believer that cleanliness is next to Godliness, Betty-Anne loves to spread her message through practical application. She would just love to regularly sweep through your house, while you’re out and make everything perfect.

GIRL GAGGLE

Elle, Annie, Sarah and Charlotte are dedicated to providing you with a social life. If you are up for a blowing off a bit of steam on a Friday night, they’ll make it happen. Great wine, great times and great conversation. These girls will provide you with the perfect balance of giggles, reassurance, fun and meaningful connection. They are available in all shapes and sizes, so if you ever have a wardrobe crisis, they will most certainly be able to help. If for some reason you can’t get out, they will come to you, vino included, every time. And, if you’d prefer a healthier approach, they will gladly become a group of reliable and dedicated exercise buddies. You can motivate each other! Whatever you need, you can custom design your own gaggle of BFFs. Of course we have a range of blokey equivalents in Matt, Andy, Jimmy and Dan for the menfolk.

MR GOSLING

Oh. My. Gosling. Adding this man to your DIY Village is a sure fire way to boost your confidence. If you are craving for someone to notice and appreciate all of the details and efforts you make both personally and professionally, get a dose of Gosling in your life. Why hang around and wait for Mr Right to find you, when you can just have him shipped directly from our warehouse? One thing is for sure, Ryan understands. He just gets you. Completely. Not only that, he is incredibly articulate and present, he is, well, you know, not too hard on the eyes. For the lads, we have Jennifer Love-Hewitt on standby.

JANE

Your very own 24-hour-helpline pal, Jane is a qualified counseling psychologist. She is just super lovely and willing to drop whatever she is doing to discuss your latest crisis. She will come to the rescue using either her professional know how or her stand out qualities as a friend. She specializes in being particularly present, low maintenance and thoughtful during stressful transitory periods such as the lead up to your wedding, the arrival of your new baby or in the event of the ill health or death of a loved one. Jane will be right there on the journey with you and due to her powerful ESP skills, will know exactly what to say and do, without you even having to ask!

NIGELLA

Nigella understands that coming up with something for dinner everyday that is nutritious, easy to prepare and everyone will eat is tiresome and unrealistic when you’re pulling 80 work weeks. She also knows that eating take-out is not good for the hip pocket or the waste-line. That is why Nigella is delighted to spend all day cooking up sumptuous meals and desserts, so you can pop on over on your own or with your family and enjoy her daily spread. She would even love to teach you a few tricks and won’t mind if you lick the spoon! She also has plenty of pirax dishes to spare and can drop a steaming hot, delicious meal, directly to your doorstep.

SAM

No money to finish the renovations? Does your car live at the mechanics? Lawn mowing just getting too much? Is your husband a little unmotivated or accident prone, when it comes to using heavy tools? Well, look no further, Sam is a force of handyman fury. And if your computer is playing up, his tech’ savvy cousin, Callum is available for a limited buy one, get one free opportunity.

SUPER NANNY

What can we say about Super Nanny Jo? She will sort you and your kids out! Not only will she swoop in and iron out all of the discipline, sleep and potty training issues you have been wrestling your children with for years within a matter of days, she’ll be around to babysit, too. Super Nanny lives to ensure that your kids are fed well, educated and that their emotional needs are met, while you have a 60 minute shower, get that session of aerobics in you have been dying to make or blast away the cobwebs in your relationship with a hot date. She’ll never pike, is 150% trustworthy and be able to make it at the drop of a hat. Guaranteed!

SVEN

Sven is practicing for his Masters in Remedial and Relaxation Massage and he needs clients. He refuses to charge a cent. He will come to your place, anytime, he needs the experience to advance his techniques. If home isn’t so relaxing, he also works from the local Swedish Day Spa and you can get a free soak after Sven kneads out all the knots and Sven helps you discover your natural Zen state.

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Well what are you waiting for? Get our catalogue now and get designing your own Do It Yourself Village – with our help!

Call 1800-555-555, NOW.

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Studies have shown the happiest people live in close community and have meaningful connections with others. Despair no longer at the irony of being completely isolated in a swarming city, now, you too can live a long happy and connected existence where life’s load is shared and enjoyed.

No need to move to Botswana to hire help. First world problems are still problems and we are here to provide you with the means to FIX them!

And remember, if there is a particular prototype you would like to create, you can design your very own. Just leave your requests below.