Expectations are a feeling that should dilute throughout a lifetime. They are reasonable when young, when the prospects ahead far outweigh the experiences behind, to consider the world your oyster and yourself the brilliant pearl there enclosed. Those beautiful orbs of irritant sand are inclined to be extremely resilient against almost all other matters, with the twin exception of heart wringing disappointment and the unbeatable ravishing of time.
Regret of some degree is unavoidable in existence, without exception each road travelled is bumpy and cluttered with obstacles directly purposed to cause difficulty and diversion. Missed opportunity is guaranteed, even the most successful of humans must concede occasional disillusionment, unexpected discomfort, unappreciated strife, and accept barely accomplished goals.
Time has no penitentiary built to inter those found lacking, however justice will be swift and unmerciful, sentences explicitly corporal, involving pain, long term injury, depressive episodes, and damaged if not broken confidence and elan. There are no captives of the past, or lags condemned to an endless confinement, just prisoners of the present, languishing, unable to shrug off the strictures of their own self-administered bindings.
Childhood dreams are unfettered, we can all be the pirate, model, player, whom we wish, for in beginnings imagination has more voracity than reality, and all is possible. Puberty, adolescence, bring a degree of realism. For the mirror on the wall tells no lies and our reflection therein will marginally constrict any future possibilities.
Adulthood presents the face of societal control, with its pressures, limitations, rules, proscriptions, and for the first time a choice must be made, a purpose envisaged, and scrupulously tracked and caged for any hope of accomplishment. Middle age brings acceptance, you have gained much, know your limitations, recognize without question the size of your now inescapable realm, with maybe one remaining chance of personal independence and freedom, the final fling, your imminent midlife crisis.
Seniority brings deliverance, complete escape from any need to prove, accomplish, manifest, any form of success or singularity. Indeed the main accomplishment required is to molder quietly, unremarkable in an easy chair or chaise longue. Even the need to accept defeats, acknowledge failures, shoulder responsibilities for past transgressions melts away like ice cubes in a nice refreshing cup of tepid sweet tea.
Expectations define goals, prospects, hopes, long term machinations, resulting in major life accomplishments. The seniors desires are in all honesty easily fulfilled, a good nights sleep and a painless awakening in the morning, little else adds up to quite so much perfection, absolute joie do vivre. Sure regrets still abound. But manly around loss, and loss becomes a daily occurrence, when more has passed than will ever come again, more acquaintances abide in memory than physicality. Each morning is the ultimate win, a celebration of continuation against most all odds, and to the despair of enemies. And when finality do arrive, there is no unnecessary surprise, the end is after all quite simply the final inescapable expectation.