Saturday, 23 July 2016

Conversations with disappointment

Noun. sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one's hopes or expectations.

When we think of disappointment, we think of a momentary feeling in reaction to an event. You quickly forget and move on. However as you age, these feelings weigh a little more heavily. It's the building up of the non-fulfillment of dreams, of not living the life you wanted, pressured by the realisation you are running out of time. The small prick will rise up from time to time, reminding you of what you missed, what might have been.

In the daily machinations of life, you merrily float along but sometimes, out of surprising places, an urgency takes hold. You are disappointed, not in others, not in what life has given you, but in yourself. You have allowed the non-fulfillment of dreams. You have put everyone else first only to wake up and discover you've put yourself last. Your needs are last, your feelings matter least, your desires are inconvenient but only because you have prioritised them that way. You have become the afterthought in your own life.

All those missed opportunities. All those unfulfilled dreams. Piling up around you.

Ellen Hopkins wrote this poem in which she sums up the outcome of disappointment perfectly (and I'm embarrassed to say I found it on Good Reads).


Can do a couple things.
It can drop you into a giant
sucking sinkhole of


a place you have to fight
to climb out of. Or it
can trigger an epic


to overcome the odds
and transform failure
into success. "

I have woken up to realise my hourglass is emptying and it is time for the mania. I need to make things happen. I need to make sure I'm attending to some of my dreams  Obviously with kids, there are certain things that have to take precedence. Some things are unavoidable. Time is limited and plans often have to be cancelled. However I can insist I allocate more attention to what I need to do, or at least attempting it. I am the culprit. I am the one who needs to change. I am the one who has created the disappointment if I feel it.

And I will no longer do so.

To quote the wonderful Kurt Vonnegut "Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter could be said to remedy anything.” or in short, it sucks to be old, you run out of excuses.

Linking with #OpenSlather


  1. I think linking disappointment to mania, especially the mania to kick your dreams into action, is possible the best link ever! It doesn't suck to get old, the young don't know how good it is about to get ;) Thank you for linking up to #convocoffee xx

  2. Yes! Yes indeed. Time to chase down those dreams.

  3. What an interesting way to look at things.

  4. I spoke at a conference this week about success principles and applying them in the workplace. The speaker after me spoke about dreams and gave some great tips on how to make sure you achieve your dreams. I've got his book. It's pretty cool (and simple). He just had a different way of empowering people to take action on their dreams that was very action oriented. I'll see if I can summarise it in a blog post next week ...

  5. I can truthfully say that I do not feel disappointment about my path in life. I feel as if I mastered being Captain of my ship as a child and I have walked every step of my dreams and more. For me, a positive attitude and the ability to laugh (and uplift others when you do) has been the key to some wonderful times. Life is too short for these regrets. It really is too short. Might as well find the sparklers in every experience and run with them. PS: Never think you are old. In ten years you will be older and you will think of now as young!

  6. We all have a choice as to what we action and don't action and when we take action if we do. I think the poem shows us two ways in which we can choose to react to disappointment.

  7. Great post Lydia - exactly what I needed to read today too. I have let dreams fall to convenience/responsibility and these last couple of weeks, and today as I comment through tears, have shown me that I can't let anybody, especially myself, stand in my way (I'm not going to railroad anyone, I just want to live, instead of just dream, my dreams).

    1. I was behind a van that said 'don't let your dreams be dreams' I so wanted to take a photo but I was driving and had no handy passengers!

  8. I think we all have it in us to "overcome the odds and transform failure into success." Just as we allow ourselves to be disappointed, only we have the power to take action and make that change. Go you! PS As for getting old, I think it's massively underrated. Just sayin'!

  9. That poem is a brilliant illustration!

  10. I just want to add a clarification, because a few people were worried about me. Firstly, the prompt was Disappointment. So I had to write about it. Secondly, the epiphany for this post, was when I read that the Northern Lights had dimmed for the next decade, and the return to their peak wasn't til after 2024 at least. Now I had a window of many years to see them at their best, and I didn't. Because of kids exams, because of money, because of a myriad of other reasons. So don't concern yourself I'm all gloom and doom. But I am seeing the Northern Lights SOON regardless.

  11. This really made me think because I recognised myself in a lot of what you've said there Lydia. Most of the time we are responsible for our own disappointment which means that we can do something to lessen the blow or put the odds in our favour. I'm with you there - great observation.

  12. A lot of this is just how I have been feeling lately. Kicking myself for the things I didn't take the opportunity to do years ago. Wondering about the different life I'd have, but who knows whether it would be a better life anyway? I have learnt, it's taken me a long time, but I know how to do things better.

  13. "transform failure to success" I really like that poem cycle.