18 Mar 2020

The “At-Home” Diaries: Disappointment

Disappointment is, unfortunately, a side effect.
As we prepare to stay at home and distance ourselves socially one of the biggest challenges is a disappointment. A radical change in life such as the spread of this virus inevitably leads to change and not all are changes we want to face. Most friends and families I know are making sacrifices in order to stay safe and care for their families. Businesses are under threat, celebrations cancelled and holidays are now a figment of our imaginations. They may be decisions not in our control but this makes them no less hard to take.

Disappointment has always been a bitter bill.

The older I am the more I understand what disappointment means and how to navigate my way through; I am familiar with this sunken, pervading feeling that is difficult to shake. The “why me” and “why did it have to happen now” sensations; the blame and the tears when our hearts are sorely bruised. And the lack of understanding. What did I do wrong? I can pick myself up, reset and move on; I fear it is not so easy for younger or more vulnerable people who have had less life experience.

Disappointment has no favourites, it chooses randomly with a hidden agenda and no regular timetable.

We made the difficult decision to postpone our daughter’s imminent wedding, as have many others with similar celebrations – if I could shoulder their sadness entirely, I would. All the “we had no choice’ and “it’s beyond our control” doesn’t make the decision any sweeter.

How do we handle disappointment and navigate our way through?

Practice understanding and know exactly what is at stake. Saving lives and being on board with our communities in this endeavour is the most important reason of all. Remember and make reminders when the “feeling sorry” slides in.

Think ahead to the future but plan some feel-good moments for the short term. Enjoy the small and precious parts of life that are available. Being at home, in our castles, can be a joy and moments to be cherished. How long ago were we complaining about being rushed and having too much to do?

Acceptance as much as we can kick and scream against it is the way forward. Understand what is happening in our world, follow the relevant protocols and remember others as much as we can. Maybe we aren’t the first line of fire, but someone’s beloved mother or grandfather is. There doesn’t have to be a quantifiable reason, stuff happens. Fullstop.

It’s not personal and the universe is not conspiring against us – we are never alone in our disappointments. All of us are making tough decisions right now to safeguard the future; that’s the silver lining.

Seize the day, enjoy the flipside of what didn’t happen and make something positive come from it. The trip of dreams has cancelled but that doesn’t mean something better is not brewing. Stay hopeful.

Push hard and smash down disappointment, no wallowing; it’s not a feeling we want to encourage. Give it the due it deserves but make it short and sweet.

We are in this together, we all have major disappointments to deal with but they won’t define us. Let’s mourn them and move on fast. xv

VA In Your Inbox

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Good morning, Vicki!

There is so much to say. You have started a great conversation here, and I agree with you. As I get older, I am grateful for the gift of being given a long enough life to add a dose of wisdom through every circumstance. Now, to use this wisdom in the right places. On the job, stress is high as we educators try to wrap the new way of delivering instruction around our minds. We make our living by encouraging the energy of imagination, thought processing, engagement and relationships. Our new platform that has literally been created over a series of days/weeks will be a challenge to embrace. For perfectionists such as myself and other colleagues, the disappointment is often with ourselves, as we will inevitably face “failures.” Oh, there is too much to bear at the moment. Let’s go make some fun happen for those who we love.


We must focus on the positive, Anita and there is and will be positives. I’m in a situation where I see disappointment all around me – big challenges for my children in so many areas so it’s up to me to help them navigate through, give wise counsel and all at a distance. But there is beauty in the every day and that’s where I’m leaving my head when I get confused. Talking amongst us is great therapy and I hope we can all benefit from this. Thinking of you in Minnesota and your world of beauty :)


no disappointment. As older I got (and I am now 74 ) I have learned to get the best of not so pleasant situations and my motto is “it is as it is”, nothing happens purposeless.
This crises is obviously necessary to change our “me” into “we” and much more .. hope it will work. Stay healthy and happy!


Yes let’s hope there is a positive outcome from all of this… we must make it so :)


Very sorry for the postponement of your daughter’s wedding. That is a huge disappointment. Thank you for your continued posts of fashion and beauty – keeping it normal 😘


It is but there are worse things for some families right now… so that’s how we have to roll.. we will find a Plan B and it will be great :)
I will be back to fashion and beauty shortly…

Franki Parde

In the end, the choice is up to you…choose to be happy, choose to be…whatever…but, it is your Choi e. franki

Linda B

You have hit the nail on the head in this post. There are things we have to get over, but there are silver linings to this world-wide phenomenon too.

I marvel at the phrase I just typed: world-wide phenomenon. There has been nothing of this scope in our lifetimes, that truly affects everyone everywhere for a long period of time in such profound ways. Perhaps it will be a wake up call to those who don’t think their own actions matter to all of humanity or the planet, or those who think we should just pay attention to those of our own nationality or culture or even have hatred for those who are different. No. We are one human race. Now there is no way to not see that. How great is that?!!!!

I am also trying to really embrace this opportunity to slow way down and enjoy all the pleasures of home. For years and years I worked way too hard, and drove myself crazy with the interplay of intense passion for my vocation (teaching) and how I pushed myself too hard, beyond exhaustion, for the good of the students and their families and my colleagues. . . Since retiring 9 months ago, I have been in recovery mode–but still not quite relaxed. There was always something to do. . . and there still is now, but with everything pared down to the essentials, I think I am learning finally to be happy with slowing down.

I am sorry about the postponed wedding. I am sorry I cannot travel to see my darling baby granddaughter and her parents again in a few weeks, as planned. I worry about my father, now isolated with no visits possible to the memory care facility he is in. . . But it will all be okay, somehow. Or not. . . and I accept that I am not in control.


Yes, we aren’t in control and that’s tough but as you say Linda.. we must accept and do what we can and enjoy the slow way while we can :) Lucky for us we have the benefit of technology – the good side – to keep us connected…

Betty Kondrich

Thank you for capturing how many of us are feeling and experiencing. I do believe that we are heading towards a new way of life that will be beautiful, gracious, and simple. That we will embrace that we are part of something with all of humanity. I too had planned to visit a 2 year old granddaughter and her parents. And I cannot visit my father at this time. But I am thankful at the way artists and musicians have contributed bringing their arts and crafts for us to enjoy during this time of isolation. The way technology through video conferencing is helping us learn in a new way and keep in touch with one another. I am hopeful.


I think you’ve hit the nail on this post too Linda. So true, never was there ever a time that we’ve all been so connected. All in the exact same boat, fighting the same thing.

In all this craziness, I hope to think that somehow there is a silver lining, although its very hard to see one in all the tragedy thats come along with this pandemic.

I definitely do think for now, slowing down, taking stock of our lives is all that we can do. I believe the sun will shine again on all of us and technology is great. Thank God, we still have that!!


This is definitely disappointing but we must be happy that your daughter has found the love of her life. This is huge in itself. I am so happy for you and your family. My view is: The delay will just make the wedding even greater and more enjoyed by all. Hold that thought.

Barbara Novello

Well said Vicki and it is heartbreaking, to say the least, to cancel a celebration like your daughters. That said, it isn’t cancer and their plans will still go forward soon. Life has its ups and downs but I am grateful that this virus that was released was, I believe, a test. I fear ‘the big one’ if we do not handle the problems with China. Time to stop letting them run all over us. Now getting back to us, I am giving myself the opportunity to clear my desk, make new design ideas move forward (which could include moving out of CA), reading more and less TV and the like! Bless you!!


I am very sorry to hear about the cancellation of the wedding plans. My daughter’s best friend is in the same position. The couple have now decided to go ahead with the (church) ceremony as planned, with just parents and witnesses, and hold the big party later this year. At least assuming the church will still be able to accept this – at present it can (in UK).
This change is hugely disappointing, no question. But those of us who are older know that life does not always go to plan. We all need sometimes to learn to accept what we cannot change, and pull good from it. I am sure your daughter and her fiance will recover from this, and know that when they meet obstacles together in life, they will support each other to move forward despite them.


As my husband and are are on the frontline in the medical profession, there is no disappointment on our part, just doggedly fierce determination to face down this monster hanging over all and to help allay the fear and disappointment of others!
I know how disappointed you all must be after the postponement of the wedding.
Just remember that there is a green light on the other side of this red one. I feel we will come through this crisis kinder, stronger and more united! The wedding will be even merrier! Best of health, T xx

Leslie in Oregon

I’m sorry that your daughter’s wedding had to be postponed. If it still is possible to have a very small civil marriage ceremony at a mairie or wherever that is done in England, have the betrothed considered doing that now (or on their original wedding date) and, at a later date, having their church/spiritual wedding and celebration wherever they were going to have them? For a different reason, that is what my husband and I did 45 years ago, on April 29 and July 6, and it felt so right to separate the state ceremony from (in our case) our church wedding and celebration.

Are you weathering the COVID-19 storm in London (as indicated by your photographs) or in Provence? From what you wrote, it sounds like you have been spared three of the more difficult aspects of the pandemic: becoming sufficiently ill with COVID-19 to need hospitalization; a severe reduction or total loss of work income and other financial resources. and being separated from immediate family members, including children, who live in another country (or thousands of miles away) and need your help. That must help temper the disappointment a bit.


I hope there is a silver lining. My husband is in a nursing home under hospice care and I was banned from visiting him for three days.


I am so so sorry to hear this Connie… thinking of you and can’t begin to imagine your heartbreak x

Cynthia Saddington

So beautifully written, thank you. I look forward to reading your posts which to me are positive and accurate.


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