Expectations are right up there with change when it comes to screwing with my emotional state.
I would bet that a majority of people have vivid memories. Something that happened many years ago, last week, or yesterday, play through our minds like a movie. Sometimes a good movie, sometimes a bad one.
Here’s a sampling of mine. Letting go of some of them has been extremely liberating.
Expectation of being the PERFECT mother. Does that even exist? What is the definition of a perfect mother?
Expectation of always saying the correct thing at just the right time. ?
Expectation of having zero anxiety. Anxiety to some extent is normal. What’s abnormal is when the irrational fear of the what ifs consume us, crippling us from living.
Expectation of being perfect–whatever my definition of perfection is, unfortunately, I never seem to reach it. In the end, I finally realize that the results were my best effort—even if it took five tries, and the results remain unsatisfactory.
Of the many vivid memories I hold in my brain’s storage room, my fondest is of a moment about eight years ago.
My husband and I were working on a stone retaining wall in our backyard. It was grueling work, and I can still remember the pain in my joints. The feel of the tendon in my arm that was aggravated so badly while chiseling bricks, that I couldn’t lift anything heavier than a pen for quite a while after the wall was complete.
But that’s not what I play in my mind.
There was a moment I sat on the edge of the wall we were building, took a deep breath, closed my eyes—and there it was—contentment. Maybe it was that moment of being.
I remember the feel of the gentle too-warm-breeze, the smell of the stinky Georgia clay, the color of the leaves, the texture of the bark on the old oaks, my husband placing a shovel into the dirt. The moment I accepted the fact that we had to make a new home so far from where we came from.
That one single moment of contentment.
I haven’t felt it since, and I have no other memory of ever feeling that way.
I expect to have more than that lone memory.