Always coming down to expectations. That’s been my challenge for years. If I’m honest, I’ve been struggling with expectations lately. What expectations should I have of myself as a working mom? What expectations I have for my marriage? What expectation I have to how my evening will play out? That’s where it gets real. How do I navigate being organized and living into the way I’ve been created–the color-coded, futuristic, visionary self–and not hold to a particular expectation? Because when the rubber meets the road, my desire to plan is tied to the anticipated outcome. AKA: Expectation.
How do I set a financial goal and hold loosely to the expectation that I’ll meet it but not be overwhelmed if it doesn’t happen?
How do I navigate things when the expectation is that it’s the night I need to wash bottles so that my child has food for the next day and all she wants to do is be held?
How do I respond when plans change? The dinner is cancelled, someone has to go out of town unexpectedly, the event gets rained out.
How do I switch gears when things at work or church or your volunteer organization end up going a completely different direction and all of a sudden you wake up one day and everything seems different–your coworkers, team mates, company, boss, leader, everything?
What happens when things don’t go the way you thought they would with your family? Someone loses a job, moves, has a crisis, gets divorced, has a falling out?
I’m sure we all have found ourselves in one or more of the scenarios listed above. Transition is hard. And there are expectations going on inside of us every day. Every minute. And when things change, expectation is buzzing around like that annoying fly that you just can’t quite smack down.
I’m still figuring this all out. I certainly don’t have all the answers. What I do know though is that so much of the things I struggle with come down to control. Expectations are my desire to have things play out a certain way. That my friends is a control issue. And as much as I can plan and forecast and look at data to predict outcomes, in my personal life, I have to trust that I’m not the one in control. And when you’ve experienced so much of life that seems out of control, holding closely to things you know are true just seems right. Safe. Controlled. Familiar.
But we weren’t meant to live a safe and controlled life. There is risk involved. The unknown. And when you take a risk, there is beauty beyond your wildest dreams. Relationships restored. Sunsets you’d never imagine if you’d gone home early because it was safe. Throwing caution to the wind and being spontaneous has resulted in some of my most favorite memories with the beau. The freedom and ability to fall into the unknown clinging to the only thing that is true and known is pure bliss.
I certainly don’t have all the answers. But I want to listen. To process. To respond. And to live with arms wide open, chin up, eyes closed, wind blowing on my face tuned in to what is out there waiting for me that I might have missed otherwise.