We were very excited about this adventure – so much so that we had traveled almost an hour outside of the area we had scheduled most of our escape adventures to experience it. It came highly recommended by fellow escape room enthusiasts and had won many awards in the escape room industry. Our mission – to figure out what a mad scientist had been up to and finish his work.

When we first entered the room, we found ourselves in what seemed like a parlor from the early turn of the last century. We quickly discovered that there was so much more to this adventure – including a second floor! We were able to work through the clues and puzzles the mad scientist had left behind and resurrect his prized monster; however, our victory was bittersweet.

Reflecting on the adventure, several things came together to feel a bit of a letdown. First, we had gotten excited about the experience based on recommendations of our fellow enthusiasts, the awards the room had won, and the genius presentation of the room online with teaser videos. So we had already built up our expectations of a superior room. Second, since we like to hit all of the rooms at each location we visit, we booked all three rooms and saved this room as the final experience. So just before this room, we did a fantastic room with set-like quality, lots of crawling and tight spaces (we love those!), and fun and challenging puzzles. So we thought – wow! If this room is impressive and it didn’t win all the awards or get all the attention the other room did, it must be out of this world!

Here’s the thing – upon reflection, the room was outstanding and very deserving of the awards it received. But we had built up the experience so much in our minds that we weren’t able to experience it that way while in the moment. How often do we do this to ourselves in life? We create a set of expectations for how an experience should be or who a person in our life is. When those expectations aren’t met, it doesn’t matter how great the experience (or person) is; we feel let down because it or they did not rise to the level that we had expected. This might be the basis for the old axiom of “Prepare the worst and hope for the best.” We need to find the best way to manage our expectations to see situations and people in our lives for what they truly are, not what we believe them to be.

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