how to deal with disappointments and why age 47 might be tricky
Easter means bunnies, chocolate and daffodils for many of us, but of course its root is in the Easter story – the loss of Good Friday and the incredible hope of Easter Sunday. You don’t need to have a faith to be able to enjoy the story and its significance.
But what about Easter Saturday?
I wonder if many of you reading this are in a bit of an Easter Saturday moment.
You’re not in the heartbreak season of a Good Friday, but you’re also not celebrating and riding high on an Easter Sunday vibe.
Easter Saturday is the in-between. It’s quiet. A comma, perhaps. There isn’t yet the breakthrough you’re looking for. You don’t get the job you wanted and you’re not sure what is next. You’re unsure of what is around the corner and it all feels somewhat flat. Not necessarily deeply unhappy, but are you feeling fulfilled? Do you have hope, or vision, or strategy, or direction? Easter Saturday lacks all this; it is disorientating and confusing and often comprehensively disappointing. Now, it doesn’t mean there isn’t anything good going on – very few of us are in that boat. But you are aware that something substantial is missing or perhaps life did not turn out as you’d expected.
Disappointment – that’s the watchword for an Easter Saturday season.
So, although I can’t begin to diagnose and support every individual situation, I would at least like to say that you’re not alone. Many of us are experiencing ‘Easter Saturday’ in some way, shape or form. To add some data to this assumption, apparently the peak of life-disappointment is age 47 so I have got that to look forward to. Lucky you if you’re reading this age 48 – the only way is up – and indeed, that’s how it works, as scientists refer to it as ‘the happiness curve’. So where are you on the happiness curve, whatever your age? And, more importantly, what can we do about it?
Well, much of life’s disappointments can be tracked back to expectations. Someone once said, “Expectation is the root of all heartache”. I think there is a lot to be said about this. For me personally, understanding that my expectations of others have caused me much disappointment has been one of the key learnings I have had as an adult.
I’d like to share a few ways we can deal with disappointment, or, if you like, our ‘Easter Saturday’ moments:
Finally, I would love to remind you that your ‘Easter Sunday’ will come. Not necessarily in all the ways you’d hope for, but, as John Lennon wisely said, ‘Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.’