Great Expectations = Great Lamentations

16 Sep

Ever feel like you’ve set YOURSELF up to fail?? Ever felt like YOU are your own worst enemy??
Me too. All the time.
Expectations.
Expectations People!!
Sigh……..
They’ve ruined my day, my week, my year and my relationships. I am alone in this?! I think not. I hope not!!! And here’s the thing, I wish I had some mind-boggling, life changing advice for you on managing your expectations.  I do not.  Sorry about this guys, because let me tell you, I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now, and I STILL have nothing concrete to share.

1. Relationships
I have two kids.  Wonderful, beautiful, funny and amazing kids.  Having these two kids, well, it changed me.  BIG TIME.  It seems as though my life, built around raising these two kids, has become super black and white.  Things either “ARE” or “ARE NOT.”  You, reader, either ARE or ARE NOT.  You either are HELPFUL or HURTFUL.  YOU either ADD to my life, or,  you TAKE AWAY.  I just can’t handle distractions.  Even if you’re someone important to me.  I guess, somewhere along the line, when I changed, I just EXPECTED everyone to understand.  They do not. Maybe other parents understand, but maybe not.  Maybe this is just me.  I know I have hurt others when I cut them out of my life because they fell into the, “ARE NOT” category.  But I just don’t know how to manage the expectation that if you aren’t  WITH me, you’re AGAINST me.  Not “against me” in a malicious way, but as in “I just take another ounce of drama that saps my energy.”  I can’t take another conversation where someone drones on and on about issues that they won’t change. I can’t handle you drinking too much,  when I can’t drink enough.  I can’t handle another phantom injury, when my kid has Autism.  I can’t handle your crappy marriage when I have a husband that is gone constantly.  I can’t handle it and WHY WHY can’t they understand it?!?!  Don’t they know I HAVE CHANGED!?!?!  I expect that when you see me chasing after my kids, or cleaning up their poop portraits on the walls, you’d KNOW that I can’t give you anymore.  Isn’t it OBVIOUS!?!?!?!

No.  It isn’t.  Know why?  I do.

BECAUSE IT IS WRONG.

Are you shocked?  I bet I had a few fellow moms rollin’ along with me.  Sorry ladies.  We are wrong.  People don’t understand.  People don’t get it.  And it’s because they NEED YOU TOO.  The two categories,  ARE and ARE NOT, they will isolate you from people who love you.  There is somewhere in between ARE and ARE NOT and that place is TRY HARDER.  The try harder place, is beyond all expectations.  It’s the place where you find strength not from yourself, but from something stronger.  TRY HARDER.  I don’t have the time for it.  I don’t have the energy for it.  But unless I want to be a lonely woman, I have got to let that black and white expectation go.  Have you done it? Show me how!!!!

2. My children.

When I decided to have kids, I decided to set myself up for failure in the expectations department.  I thought, “I will get pregnant without issue, my baby will be born no problem, my kid will be awesome, my marriage will be rock solid, and I can have a life.”

EPIC LAMENTATIONS from those expectations. 

My life thus far, has been a slow and looooong rehabilitation from those simple yet IGNORANT expectations.  My kids don’t behave on Mother’s Day.  My kids don’t sleep at night.  My daughter insists that the color blue is really green.  My son argues with me, and then just starts roaring like a T-rex.  I LIVE for time with my husband and time with my girlfriends.  Yeah, those expectations, they really are like land mines.  I forget about them sometimes.  I will be be-boppin’ along in life and then WHAM!!!!!!!!  One explodes that I forgot was even there, and it makes me want to tear my hair out.   I blame the Brady Brunch re-runs I used to watch when I was younger.  That life with a family, might have its petty little problems, ones that the studio audience will chuckle at.  But nothing serious, nothing scary. When I saw with my own eyes that my son had become the FREAK.  No one was laughing.  When my daughter would climb up on the cabinets and wield my favorite chef’s knife like a samurai sword, no one chuckled.

3.  Cecilia (That’s me.)

I expected to take this “family thing” in stride.  NOT happening.  I am not striding.  I am on the asphalt with my dress over my head and my panties with red cherries are visible to the WHOLE WORLD. ( yeah, that happened to me.)  I struggle with feeling trapped.  I struggle with the enormity of my responsibility.  I struggle with jealousy pangs when I see my friends without family traveling the globe. Or buying nice purses when I had to sell mine to pay for our guest bathroom remodel.  I expected to still get to be ME.  I am adventurous.  I am ambitious.  I have no fear.

Well, I’ve gone THREE YEARS without flying on an airplane to a new adventure.  I have done NOTHING new.  I get scared, really scared sometimes.  I wish that I had left myself open.  I wish that I had asked God for his plan for me, EVERY SINGLE DAY.  That would have squashed those nasty expectations.  

If I could just wake up with NOTHING but an open heart, I would be more content.  That’s the key don’t you think?  Don’t you think that if I could learn to approach with thanksgiving and NOT expectation that I would be a better mom and wife and friend?  Would you?  Could you? (in a box, with a fox?) How do you manage your expectations?  I struggle with mine constantly.  Have you mastered them?  HOW???  Lay some knowledge and wisdom down in the comments sections.  Can’t wait to hear from you.

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3 Responses to “Great Expectations = Great Lamentations”

  1. Gena September 19, 2013 at 6:38 PM #

    I just read a quote today that said “When you learn to accept instead of expect, you will have fewer disappointments.” I know I need to accept more.

    • mrs.not.so.perfect September 19, 2013 at 6:52 PM #

      Yes! I cannot handle being let down. It’s really hard on my spirit and it’s so easy to get mad at the other person. But really you created the expectation before the let down and that’s on us.

      • Leslie Brown Sheppard September 19, 2013 at 9:03 PM #

        I find myself feeling let down a lot. My expectations are too high, I guess. It doesn’t seem crazy to me to expect to be treated with respect and kindness and courtesy, because that’s how I would treat someone. I assume that my so-called friends define “friendship” the same way I do, but that’s just not fact. And it doesn’t make them bad people. We all have different personalities and were raised differently and value different things in life. I think I forget that sometimes. And I have to bring myself back down to reality and realize that I am the only me. As long as I am doing what feels good and honest and right, that should be all that matters. Because people are always going to remember how you made them feel. Good post…expectations are a hard thing to learn to manage. P.S. Miss you guys!!

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