What do I expect?? I expect to be good again, and now!
Most say this type of thinking is ludicrous, impatient, and just plain unrealistic (ughhh... there's that word again). I don't think it's unrealistic at all. Let me explain.
I stopped playing golf 6 years ago after becoming a 3 handicap, and tons of hours on the course. I worked my butt off, had a goal of becoming a 5 handicap within 3 years, and EXPECTED to attain that goal... no questions, no excuses. It took about 4 years of constant play, but I finally reached my goal -- actually surpassed my original objective by 2 strokes. Whatever I've wanted... truly wanted, I've always attained. Why?
Because my expectations were always high, and I never stopped until the goal was met.
If I took the attitude of, "I haven't played in a long time, therefore I'm going to play terribly... be patient," my short term pain would definitely lessen, but my long term success would absolutely take much longer to arrive. I believe, with every ounce of my being, that striving for the highest possible peak will allow us to reach further than we ever thought possible. The immediate challenge with having such high expectations is that the short term pain can (and most likely will) be very intense and frustrating. These aspirations of playing at a high level again makes my mind wonder to the past and how good I used to be, resulting in losing focus on this one single moment. On the other hand, not having lofty goals will ease the pain of right now, but will leave me lazy and unwilling to push myself as hard as I possibly can... both physically and mentally.
So, when he said,"what do you expect? You haven't played in 6 years," what I heard was "don't push yourself so hard, moron. Who do you think you are, and why do you care so much? You're not good anymore!" Of course, he probably just meant "relax and have some fun," but let me tell you a little secret: Sucking isn't fun!
Don't allow anyone to tell you not to expect bigger, better, or more than they think is possible. Who cares if your expectations are greater than most would dream of reaching for... this is how you'll ultimately reach your next level. Most can't, won't, or are too scared to try -- or at least afraid of the sacrifices needed to truly attain what they want. Don't be them. Be the one who does expect to be great, either again or for the first time.
Reach higher than they say is possible, and watch what happens. The results that come from pushing harder than expected will be greater than you can imagine!
(And to the person who said this... I WILL get my money back, plus interest!)