(Okay, so in all honesty, I started writing this post on February 19th and then I forgot about it. Then I had surgery and forgot about it a while longer. A tiny part of me still holds out hope that my favorite pencil will be waiting for me when I return to work! Silly me!)
My favorite pencil went amiss this week. This is not it in the picture, BTW. My favorite pencil had a cushy little thing on the barrel. It was purple. Or green. I forget. Purple and green. Yeah, that's it. I'd know it anywhere. I just forget some of the details of how it looks. I've had that pencil since I started work here in July of 2008 (Lord, how did the time pass so quickly by?). It disappeared once before and stayed gone for a couple of months. During that time, my red pencil became my temporary favorite, which does not indicate any loss of loyalty to my real favorite pencil, the purple and green one. I was merely preparing myself in case the purple/green pencil never came back. I tend to develop attachments to my favorite writing materials (and other things as well). It becomes almost like a compulsion to use only my favorite pen or pencil to do my work. What can I say? Loyalty is one of my strengths. Or weaknesses. Anyway, I decided this time around I was not going to fret over this missing pencil! I went to the cabinet and got two new pencils. I grab which ever one of them is the closest when I need to write and I write.
Why am I going on and on about this missing pencil? It has to do with attachments, which, for me, has a lot to do with expectations. We get ourselves in so much trouble when we form attachments to certain expectations of how things are going to be in our lives. We get our own ideas of how things are going to happen, or how certain people are going to treat us and when it doesn't go down that way, we are disappointed and often hurt or angry. And then we tend to react to the circumstances or to the other person out of our own hurt or anger. My dad has this "tongue in cheek" thing he says--"Don't expect anything, that way you won't be disappointed." It's not really the "expecting" that gets you into trouble. It's what you do with the disappointment of that expectation not being met that can lead to trouble.