Disappointment Hack: When You Want A Swimming Pool But Get A Dirt Road

disappointment hack

disappointment hack
The obligatory back to school photo… So maybe summer break could have been a little longer?

This was the first day of school. The boys are heading back to college soon, and now with David and the girls at school every day it’s just me and our Boston Terrier, Max.

So after getting the kids to school this morning Max and I headed out for a walk around the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, we barely made it out of the driveway because Max was having trouble walking on our new road.

So our neighborhood recently got a chip and seal road and it was hurting Max’s feet to walk. This little dog who normally lives for his walks had the most distressed expression on his face.

Sad, right!? Poor puppy. So we headed back inside.

Now some of you may be thinking Max should toughen up, or perhaps he’s too delicate, and maybe you’re right. (He is our baby after all.) But I’ve never seen him pass up a walk. He’s usually pulling me because he’s so excited.

We live in a sprawling neighborhood in the country, made complete with beautiful rolling hills and fields of wildflowers.

Every dog’s dream.

Until now.

How It All Happeneddisappointment hack

Let me preface this next part by saying we love our neighborhood and our neighbors. We simply have different opinions about how our money should be spent.

So here is what happened with the road situation: Over a year ago a few members of our neighborhood decided we needed to repair the road due to a few minor cracks. Overall the asphalt road was in good repair and was smooth to drive on.

So we all voted whether we agreed that the repairs were necessary. Needless to say, we along with others didn’t vote for it, but we were (apparently) outnumbered.

When you have two kids in college and two on the way let’s just say your financial priorities are a bit different from someone who is retired.

We were given an estimate of the repairs and everyone was to pay their part (even those who didn’t think it necessary).

Because that’s how a Homeowner’s Association works.

Which was a bummer because, to us and our kids, a neighborhood swimming pool would have been a much better use of the money.

The benefits of a neighborhood pool include

  • health and fitness
  • a great place to socialize and get to know the neighbors better
  • a fun place for the kids to spend time (and stay out of trouble)

But those in charge of the project decided they wanted a chip and seal road. (In other parts of the country you might say “tar and chip“). It’s basically a low-cost alternative to asphalt. It’s made by spreading a layer of toxic, messy tar then covering that with rough gravel.

I believe the hope was because it’s summer that we would have blazing hot weather that would bake the gravel into the tar, but that hasn’t happened, at least not yet. Since they did the road we haven’t had the hot August weather that’s typical for Missouri.

So it’s dusty and the gravel is loose, like a dirt road. When you drive on it the gravel goes flying. It’s a far cry from the smooth blacktop road we used to enjoy.

But, it would make for a good movie scene.

Like a no holds barred sort of Thelma and Louise we’re bustin’ outa’ this town sorta’ scene. The rebels (without a cause) roar down the dusty dirt road, car top down, hair flyin’ everywhere, tunes cranked up.

You get the picture.

Needless to say the asphalt road we had before had a few minor bumps and cracks but was much better than this, but you can’t win them all, right?!

Disappointment Hack 101

We teach our kids how to deal with disappointment and roll with the punches. But when things don’t turn out how we’d hoped do we take our own advice? (I’m asking myself here too.)

Here are some tips that can help you cope when things don’t go the way you’d hoped.

  1. Deal with emotions. Allow yourself to feel your feelings (like Maddie is doing in the back to school photo above) and don’t stuff them down. Once you’ve processed them it is easier to move forward.
  2. See the big picture. Consider that people are unique and have differing perspectives and opinions. Keep an open mind and allow them to have space. Don’t try to control others.
  3. Don’t expect perfection. People are not perfect so don’t expect them to be. When you are flexible with others and don’t get uptight about your schedule it takes the pressure off and encourages a more relaxed vibe and atmosphere.
  4. Move forward. Accept that disappointment and frustration are part of life. But they are also opportunities for growth. Learn to accept things you cannot change and address the aspects you can.
  5. Write a blog post about it. Do you see what I did there? 🙂

The Takeaway

Disappointment is a part of life. Whether you want a swimming pool and get a dirt road or you’re dealing with something bigger and more life-changing, learning to deal with life’s frustrations is essential. Practicing the tips I shared above will help build resilience and strength through life’s struggles.


How do you deal with frustration and disappointment?

Please share your thoughts and tips below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


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41 Comments

    1. Thanks, Renee! Yes, I’m definitely going to have to look into the doggie booties! For now, he’s just walking circles around our circle drive and yard and missing his walks in the neighborhood.

  1. Our HOA is wonderful but we’re moving at the end of the month. However, the community where we’re going seems even better with so many more amenities. Disappointment is a natural feeling and definitely shouldn’t be repressed.

  2. I usually take it in stride but it does build up over time. I end up having a good cry once or twice a year to deal with all the pent up emotions.

    1. Great question, Rachel! The boys, not so much. But the girls have journals and write occasionally. I think it’s a great habit to get into. If my hands are too tired to write out (or type out my thoughts) at the end of a long day I sometimes keep an electronic journal and speak it aloud (voice to text) on my phone. It helps me process through thoughts and feelings I’m having.

  3. We live in an HOA as well and sometimes it is really difficult to deal with. I would have much preferred the pool as well!

  4. I can’t believe you all have to pay for the roads to be fixed!! In Australia our local councils organise repairs of roads. I can definitely understand being disappointed that the money went to repairing a road rather than a neighbourhood pool!

  5. I love my neighborhood as well, but there are also some things that we disagree on. It’s so sad that you have to deal with this. I hope your neighborhood finds a compromise to make everyone happy.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, AnnMarie. I guess you can’t win them all.

      Unfortunately, I don’t see the road situation changing any time soon. But, there are many things I love about living here so I’m going to try focusing on those for now.

    1. Agreed! I’ve never heard about the doggie shoes, but I’m going to have to check this out. The trick will be getting our dog, Max to allow me to put four little shoes on his four little feet.

      I hope they make them with velcro! Can you imagine tying four little doggie shoes while your dog is biting at them? The thought of this makes me laugh. Thanks for sharing this, Cindy!

  6. When I get frustrated I make it well known and try to figure out why and what to do. It can put me down. I’d love a neighborhood pool!

    1. I understand, Kristina. Dealing with frustrating situations (and people) can bring out a wide range of strong emotions. It’s so good that you reflect on the situation and work to figure things out.

      I hear you about wanting the neighborhood pool. I hope you get one!

  7. Disappointment and frustration makes me want to find the root cause and then a solution so then I can be happy. Those are not good emotions to carry because they produce stress.

    1. So true, Jeanine! Processing the feelings that come out when we’re dealing with frustrations is essential to moving through the situation and coming up with positive solutions.

      This is something I’m working on myself. I used to skip the processing step and stuff my feelings, and you can only do that for so long. It’s not healthy (or helpful).

    1. Thank you, Karen. In the grand scheme of things I know it’s not that big a deal. And you’re so right. When you’re a member of a community you must able to compromise and deal with problems when they come up.

      I totally agree about writing! It’s cathartic and helps me work through life to write it out.

    1. Thanks, Melissa! As much as I would like to protect them from the real world sometimes I think keeping your kids in a bubble often does more harm than good, leaving them unprepared for situations they’ll inevitably have to deal with later. Thanks for your comment!

  8. With regards to writing a blog post, I think it generally works to turn any negative situation into a positive one and think of it as a learning experience of some sort… re-frame your thoughts.

  9. I live on a corner lot so my house faces the main road, but my driveway is down a dirtroad. An actual dirt road. There are craters so deep on the road that it’s like driving on the moon. Not to mention the dirt everywhere.

    1. Hey Robin, Reading this reminds me that someone always has it worse than you do and I have much to be thankful for, despite the dirt road. As much as I dislike dealing with the dirt and dust, I’m thankful that we don’t have giant craters and I’m so sorry that you do! Thanks for the reality check. 🙂

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