Tuesday, January 15, 2013

expectations are confusing. or maybe it's just me.

so apparently life thinks it's funny to mess with me.
i wrote my post on wanting to feel purposeful not that long ago. i even stood in fast and testimony meeting at church and talked about how i wanted to be more purposeful. i want to show my gratitude for my life by showing that i know my purpose here on earth.
and then last week happened.
nothing serious or horrible.
but i've been finding it difficult to keep my focus on my purpose.
i'm still getting a lot done in my day to day life. i'm still taking care of my family.
but i think maybe i set my expectations a little high.
expectations are funny, aren't they? we are supposed to have them for ourselves. and to a certain extent we can have them for our spouse, our family or friends...but for the most part we need to let others govern their own lives and not dictate or judge how they live life.
that is what's difficult for me in my attempt to be more purposeful. i can only control my actions.
example. i can make and give the kids a new list of chores and a more structured schedule, right? that's me being purposeful. i can try to enforce the newly established structure. that's purposeful too.
but here's the trick, they are going to fight me on it. they are going to complain. i will have to remind them over and over and over to do what i asked them to do.
and then the purposeful feelings i once had start to leave. my expectations for my kids to follow my schedule are being shredded. and then i feel defeated.
does this make sense?
but in reality, i shouldn't let it get me down. my kids are just like other kids. they don't like cleaning. hey, neither do i! i shouldn't let my expectations for them or my attempt at trying to get life on the right path, lead me to believe that i've failed or that i'm being defeated when i have to persuade the kids to do what i've asked them to do. they are still good kids. i'm still a good mom. i can still find purpose in frustrating moments.
i don't have to let my expectations for others distract me from how good they really are or what they actually do accomplish. 
i'm sort of babbling.
i'm just feeling stuck.
i'm struggling.
while i've been working through all these feelings of expectations and purpose, i've been talking to my mom. bless her ever helpful, loving and kind heart.
here's a little background: mom had six kids. i am the oldest. she homeschooled all of us. she ran a daycare at the same time for a few years. she took care of my handicapped aunt who lived with us for my entire growing up years. she was also president of every church organization that women run in the church. sometimes twice. and now she lives in the basement of her own home so that my aging grandparents and handicapped aunt can live upstairs.
she's done a lot in life. and her expectations for herself have always been bigger than just accomplishing those other million things she had going on at the time.
this is where i come from.
but she said something to me last night that made me think. it was something she had to teach herself. she said, "Relaxing the standard isn't slacking." 
in my mind the music started playing and the sun suddenly appeared!
it makes me tear up to even think that by giving myself some slack, by allowing myself some room to not be perfect, and to not be so upset when others aren't perfect, i'm not failing. my family isn't failing.
see, the thing is i know that already. i preach it to everyone. i'm the first to tell everyone that they need to give themselves a break.
i just can't seem to give myself one. or my family one. because after all, i'm running the family (mostly) and if i'm failing, they are too.
but i need to relax the standard. that's exactly what i needed to hear.
i will have expectations for myself. i will continue to be purposeful. but i will not set the standard so high. i will allow room to grow one step at a time. i will allow myself to not be perfect. i will allow the same for my family. i will allow myself to be the real person i've always tried to be. mistakes will happen. new beginnings will occur over and over and over.
and i will try to remind myself that i'm okay.

this video reminded me that expectations are good. of course, they need to be based on reality too.  

1 comment:

Marisa Jean said...

Whoa. That was awesome.

I have nothing to add, but an "amen!" Oh, and an I love your mom (even though I've only randomly seen her at sushi places and Costco, ha ha) and you. Both awesome women.