Saturday, July 20, 2013
I used to have expectations. I expected get up early if I was going to get my run in before the kids woke up. I expected to do well in a race if I had trained hard. I expected.... I expected to have a healthy baby after nine and a half months of a healthy pregnancy. I expected to bring that baby home from the hospital a couple days after giving birth to him.
I'll stop right there because those expectations were not met and my life fell out from under me in what were the most painful, emotional and physical, moments of my life. Shattering on the floor below like a piece of glass. I learned perspective real quick. Faster than I wanted to. When I already felt very strongly that I had the right perspective on life. But I no longer take things for granted like a healthy pregnancy or healthy baby or time to go for my run. I learned that.
And then I realized I still have other expectations that I need to let go of. I learn things on a daily basis about people and relationships that tell me I need to raise or lower my expectations. As a parent, obviously, I'm shaping the lives of my kids and I'm very careful about relationship expectations and what they learn. I sometimes have specific behaviors I want them to acquire from me but I know that they are who they are already and that is their own person. They have a bit of me in them, a bit of their daddy and the rest is up to them. I am humbled, some days, at this realization. They are pretty amazing individuals. And when I see my flaws in them, I try to correct them, in hopes that they become a better person than me.
But it is me that I come back to. I've learned not to expect things from people that are just not going to give, perform or be what I think they should. I am a firm believer in actions speaking louder than words and listening to that. I will not assume that you will give, perform or be something that your actions don't tell me you are, just to help you out because that's what I think you want to or should do. I have to let go and listen to (observe) those actions.
I have also learned not to compare my relationships. Because comparing leads to expecting and.....no. It doesn't work. Sometimes I try to understand why my relationship with one sister doesn't mirror or even consist of the same things that the my relationship with another sister does and I come up disappointed because my expectations were not met. And really, I should not have compared the two relationships in the first place. But I'm learning to let go of those expectations.... and not compare the relationships. Because they are different, just as the individuals are.
It's not easy...and I try to be true to myself while I am trying to set an example and teach my kids as well. Always hoping that I'm doing it "right", or what I think is "right". Living up to expectations I have of myself. Not always escaping the throws of hypocrisy, but trying to learn from my mistakes and learn from them, too. I think as a parent, you strive for your kids to be better than you are...in lieu of the mistakes we make along the way. Sometimes admitting those mistakes and showing them my fears helps us grow together and makes our relationships stronger.
And I don't plan to ever stop learning.