When Expectations Meet Reality

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If we have had any personal interaction in the last few months, you probably know about the biggest news the Corona home has had in ages… our puppy, Quinn!

Very unexpectedly and quite suddenly, we lost our beautiful girl Dari, in early November. Her passing left a massive hole in our lives, which led to the inevitable discussion about how to fill it. Dari was an Irish Setter, absolutely beautiful, with a wonderful personality. Every day, she woke in a good mood, was always up for adventure and really enjoyed every single moment that she had. While we have a heart for several other breeds (and were definitely considering those) it was reflecting on these qualities that drew us to do something we never expected to do—we signed on for round two.

Into our lives came Quinn, a really adorable little girl Irish Setter puppy that somehow looks like a baby giraffe.

We brought her into our home with great enthusiasm and high expectations. Very quickly, the reality of who she was began to descend. Our previous experience with a puppy was Bella, a Chocolate Lab, that wanted nothing more than to please us. Quinn does not want to please us. She is concerned with freedom and adventure, not the mechanics of house breaking or learning commands.

Our experience with this puppy has made me aware of how often our expectations don’t actually meet reality.

One of the places this is most obvious is when individuals make the leap to management. Most people have a vision, some things they want to get done, a change they want to see. This is WHY they move into management. They expect to get the job and have their vision play out before their eyes, as it did in their mind.

Invariably, the reality and the vision do not match up, which can lead to a lot of second guessing and “what if” scenarios.

While Dari was also an Irish Setter, she didn’t come to us until she was five years old. Because of this, we had no idea what Irish Setter infancy would be like. We missed her puppyhood and formative years. And while there were certain growing pains of assimilating her into our lives, she was fully formed when we got her so we (oh so erroneously!) expected Quinn would be much the same.

Naturally, this made me wonder, could we have done anything different? After a great deal of thinking, I believe the answers for us are the same as those for new managers.

  1. Enjoy your vision. There’s nothing wrong with daydreaming about what things will be like. Having hope gives us purpose. We all need that.
  2. Realize your vision can’t possibly be (completely) reality. There are just too many unknowns.
  3. Be willing to hold on when reality shows up. It won’t always be like this, but you have to go through the “baby” phase of everything to get to the good stuff.
  4. There’s actually some good stuff about the baby phase. It’s all new! It’s exciting and interesting!
  5. You will eventually hit your stride. Competency is coming.
  6. There will be a time where you won’t even remember being incompetent or that things were ever as difficult as they were.

Humans have the gift of memory. Sometimes we remember, while other times the real blessing is, we forget.

Quinn has been with us for over four months now. As I write this, she is laying beside me, snoring softly. I am hopelessly in love with all that she is and I have come to enjoy each day and every phase of her growth.

The biggest learning for me has been this, you have to be willing to let go of what you thought should happen and enjoy what actually is.

And that’s when things get really good.