It’s awards season. The Golden Globes, the SAG awards, the Emmys, the Grammys, the Oscars – the ads, the announcements, the glitter, the red carpets, and the parties are everywhere. Just this week, AudioFile Magazine announced the nominees for the Audies – awards for achievement in audiobook performance from the Audio Publishers Association.

Spoiler alert: I’m not on the list.

And I wouldn’t expect to be. I’m young in this industry, building my portfolio as a narrator. But even if I were further along my path, I wouldn’t expect to be on the Audies’ red carpet. I don’t expect to win awards or recognition; I don’t expect to become rich or famous. That’s not why I’m here.

I’m here to tell stories, and to tell them as well as I possibly can.

Being recognized and lauded for doing a good job is a wonderful thing, but it’s not something I expect, and it’s not why I do what I do. I tell stories because I love storytelling. I love connecting with people through words and emotions. If I can actually make enough to live on doing something I enjoy, I will be ecstatic. And if people enjoy what I do enough to tell me about it through comments and reviews, I will be over the moon. But no matter what, I’ll enjoy telling the stories anyway.

What we expect very often determines how we feel about what we do. If our experience doesn’t live up to our expectations, we feel let down. If we do things because we expect rewards and recognition that don’t come, we can feel resentful and get bitter about not being appreciated.

My point here is that we can decide much of how we feel by managing our expectations. Being realistic about what we expect, especially with regard to the outcomes of chance or the actions of others, can minimize disappointment and maximize satisfaction.

I don’t mean we shouldn’t dream. Heck, I’ve imagined myself on that red carpet. And is there anyone who hasn’t visualized winning the lottery?

But I don’t expect it. And because of that, I’m perfectly happy watching others win.

And telling stories.