On Tuesday, I hit a wall. It was the culmination of taking on too much in the name of busyness since idle hands are the devil’s work or whatever it was I learned during that one episode of Thomas the Train where the engine froze because someone was lazy and then, they couldn’t get coal to the orphanage. So, ipso facto, if I laze about, this directly results in cold orphans. This simply could not stand.
My conscience was clear, but, my anxiety was on overdrive. I had all of the hours filled, but, nothing planned for dinner or lunch…or breakfast. The cupboards were practically bare. My husband wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy. The kids…where are the kids? And, when I find them, should I ask them if they’re happy? No, I’ll think about that tomorrow. Fiddle dee dee and stuff.
Expectations are ruining my perception of what is “normal”. Pushing me to pick up some imagined slack at the risk of losing other things; like sanity and oh yeah, my children. Seriously, where are they?
I’m placing this intense pressure on myself. I’m buckling under it. I’m placing the same pressure on my children, my husband, my dishwasher. You WILL hold 16 complete settings, you bastard. If I’m here all night, cursing and assaulting you, I’m getting that last sippy cup in. Receive my cup!
These great expectations are rooted in something insane. But, what exactly? Certainly not in reality and with each event and passing moment, I find I’m less in touch with what we can all truly give. What we can all reasonably navigate.
It’s not fair that I expect my children to behave all the time. They are small. My expectations are skewed. I don’t really want them to be pod people. Well, except at the library and, ok, at school concerts too. Pod people at those things would be alright.
It’s not fair that I expect my husband to move the laptop case from the dinette benches to wherever the hell he piles his stuff. I don’t say, “Hey, can you move that?” I just glare at the case. Wishing it would passive-aggressively jump off of the bench and slap him with the shoulder strap as it puts itself away. If I’m not appropriately communicating, does a laptop case shit in the woods? Deep thoughts.
It’s not fair that I expect my mother to be a super-involved grandmother who rolls around on the floor with the kids, takes them out for hot chocolate and tells them tales of family lore while they fight for the prime space on her lap. She was not that kind of mother. Why, oh why do I place these huge expectations on the people I love?
Great expectations lead to resentment. They lead to what-ifs and could-haves and should-haves and guilt and all those other unproductive emotions that then force your better self to call a Waaaaaaambulance which hopefully takes you to the Emergency Room where someone gives you a big shot full of, “SNAP OUT OF IT.”
So, enough with trying to be the person I think I should be. I’m going to try and love this person I am and give the people I love the greatest gift I can give them – loving them for who they are right now while they love me back for who I am right now. Imperfectly and honestly.
No more great expectations.