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Managing Expectations

Submitted by Joel on Mon, 07/23/2018 - 14:52

Is it possible that we only had THREE blog posts in June (not counting movie reviews, of course)? And our plans to blog while getting to Cyprus didn't exactly pan out, either. But we're here and ready to start this new stage of our lives. Which also means becoming FULL TIME bloggers! Without the struggles and stresses of selling the house, almost all of our possessions, closing the business, and packing for the next year, we can finally get down to our real lives... even though it still feels like a dream.

Looking back, it's silly to think that we'd have had time to blog. I literally forgot to schedule time to sleep. We have a six hour flight? I bet I could get a blog post done then. Oh, right... no WiFi. What about in the airport? Oh, our converter isn't working. Oh, we need to find food. Oh, we fell asleep. Oh, we're crowded onto a bus. 

Estimating how much free time you'll have can be quite the guessing game. It reminds me of estimating our programming jobs in my previous life. We'd work at figuring out all aspects of the project to be as accurate as possible, but there were multipliers based on how much experience we had doing it. If it was a daily task, we'd multiply the estimate by 1.1. If we had done it before several times, x1.25. If we had done it once before and had someone who had done it several times to tap into, x1.5. If we didn't have that person or never done it before, x2. If we were sure it could be done, but had never done anything like it before x3. If we weren't confident that it could be done, we'd do a x5 multiplier. 

I should have had this in mind when judging how much spare time we would have on our trip. We've never been to these airports, we're new at blogging 'on the go'. We aren't sure about internet access or if the batteries would be charged (both for the electronics and for ourselves). All this adds up to: MAYBE one post, if we're really lucky. But we should have planned to settle in a couple days after arriving. Which is today! So TADA! BLOG POST!

As we plan ahead for our future adventures with tons of 'downtime' punctuated with craziness of carrying all of our belongings with us, we need to remember to plan ahead. We want to have a new post on most days, so we need to work ahead to keep that schedule.

Planning helps take away some of the surprises, but not all of them. In reality, I think we just need to be realistic and know ourselves. Traveling is stressful. Should we really plan to get work done on the plane? Will we be too tired? If we're typing instead of sleeping, will that really be a quality post? (It will probably be pretty hilarious, though).

I think my biggest takeaway from this is that we need to be humble. We can't do it all. If we find ourselves inspired, great! But why add disappointment to our adventure by adding unrealistic expectations? It's just not worth the stress. 

So if you're feeling like you aren't getting enough done, maybe it isn't that you're not pushing hard enough, but that you have unrealistic expectations. Don't plan your future without using those multipliers! Sometimes it just takes longer than expected, and that's ok! Take it into consideration that sometimes fate has other plans and just roll with it. Give yourself some padding so a little crash doesn't do too much damage. And enjoy the ride! Otherwise, what's the point?