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When I was a child, there was one Christmas when all my sister wanted was a baby doll. Not just any baby doll, but one that was larger than she was. Santa came and Christmas morning we woke up and ran into the living room and my sister’s face fell…it really was a nice baby doll…i am sure it cost a pretty penny…but it was not larger than my sister.

My father went out on Christmas day and found pharmacy which had a very large baby doll, for about five dollars. It did not matter that is was cheaper, it was what my sister wanted and my father saved the day. My sister had expectations.

While on the surface, we can judge and say “I can’t believe she would not be grateful…,” we all have expectations. Often we don’t even realize them until someone does not meet them—and then we get upset. It has been shown that our energy level goes down when our expectations are not met.

This happens all the time in relationships. Our expectations are not met and so we go in search of someone that can meet them. Sadly, few individuals take the time to discuss expectations when they start a relationship, so their partner is trying to hit what seems to be a moving target.

When we first started dVerse Poets it was exciting. I knew most of the 160 poets we had plugging in on day 1 and had experience with them. Our goal was to create a comfortable place for poets, thus why we called it a pub. Poets could come in and out, interact, play and become a community.

“Become a community” is where my expectations began being placed on the other poets.

An expectation we had, since the beginning, for our pub tenders is that they comment on a set number of participants at OLN. This way everyone that linked would be welcomed by at least one person. Our hope was that this would engender the value of community. I personally made it an expectation of myself to visit everyone, which I did for the first year of our existence.

Where I went astray was in expecting others to have the same value on community. It became an expectation and as time went on and the percentage of people linking in that did not visit anyone or did not return comment (around 60-70% of linkers right now) so did my personal frustration level.

So, I am learning to manage my expectations.

When one of our poets recently hacked our password so they could enter the Linky before the opening, it made me really begin questioning what we do here.

On Sunday, I posted the last post on my personal blog for the time being. I wont be linking in to OLN or Poetics or Meeting the Bar/Form For All for at least this week. I will comment on my 10 assigned links at OLN (maybe a few others–smiles–but not everyone). I will be taking time in this week to really think through why I do what I do and what is reasonable expectations of myself and others.

So, help me out here. Let’s talk about expectations. What do you expect when you come to dVerse? what do you expect of pub tenders? what do you expect of others that link in?