Monday Words: Appreciate Everything

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Expect Nothing. Appreciate Everything. | The Fresh Exchange


horse image via: Bethany Legg

Early on in Mike and I’s relationship I would set expectations internally of what it meant to be in a relationship. I would never voice these expectations to him. Instead, I would let the disappointment of him not meeting my unrealistic unvoiced expectations. Till the accumulated disappointment would result in a fight, he was completely unprepared for. During one of those fights, I realized what I was doing and how unfair it was. I realized that it was incredibly hurtful to him that I wasn’t communicating my expectations whether realistic or unrealistic. I remember at that moment promising not only to him but to myself to be honest with about what I expected not only of him, but myself, life, and anyone else in my life. Expectations are just that expectant. When they don’t come to fruition, it leaves disappointment within its wake. There is a step by step formula to get back with your ex which can be found at

I have a tendency to be overly imaginative with how things should go. This plays well in my creative work, but it can result in feeling unappreciative of reality. Over the years, I have worked to expect far less. I thought in some way this was cheating myself. Shouldn’t I expect that I deserve or should have certain things in life? Yes, yes I should, but I had mixed up the difference between goals and expectations. The difference? Goals are things we work ourselves to make happen for ourselves. Expectations are things we plan to happen no matter how hard or how little we work to deserve them. Expectations are a form of entitlement when you break it down. That was a hard thing to come to terms with, but once I did I realized I wasn’t shorting myself any by choosing to expect far less out of life.

As a result, I have found so much more enjoyment in the smallest and most simple things in life. It allows me to no longer focus on what isn’t just landing right in front of me and instead appreciate all the small things along the way that take me closer to my dreams.

In our relationship, there is far more ease that in the last three years of owning a business has been vital to being healthy partners in and out of the studio. More than anything, I find so much more joy. It is easy to forget how in charge of our joy we are and the setting of expectations and feeling expectant of certain things in life can steal joy very quickly.

Without expectations filling my brain and emotions, I can notice the beauty of the day. Everything from the sweet morning snuggles with Mike to the warmth of a cup of coffee to the unexpected new opportunity in my inbox to even the preciousness of making dinner while watching the sunset in the neighborhood. Life is full of wonderful and beautiful things that can be clouded by disappointment so easily.

So, I challenge you today to name a few things that you have been expecting and letting them go and instead being open to appreciating things you may not have seen coming.

Happy Monday friends!

Hello! I’m Megan Gilger,

A strong believer that nature and the seasons are our greatest teachers. We live on a hill in Leelanau County, Michigan just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan. This land we are responsible for is where we are focused on building a life around the seasons and intention. We spend our days here building a regenerative model of living and focusing our garden on native plants and intensive polyculture planting styles. My focus is less on self-sufficiency and more on community-sufficiency through how we grow and connect through the seasons.
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