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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Expectations

Why do we put so much pressure on each other and ourselves to meet expectations? I've been thinking about this today.. just about the expectations that I put on my spouse and on my kids and about the expectations that are put on me and that I put on myself.

It reminded me of the Christmas just before Chad and I got engaged. I spent Christmas in Baton Rouge with my family without Chad. I remember several long phone calls where we discussed him going to look for engagement rings. Knowing that we were definitely in love and meant for each other, I was just sure he'd bought one, kept it a secret, and was going to give it to me all wrapped up as a huge surprise when we exchanged gifts back in Texas after Christmas.

So, the day came to exchange gifts... I carefully chose the outfit I would wear. I certainly wanted to look perfect for my engagement pictures. We sat down at his mom's house and there was a big pile of presents there waiting for me. I just KNEW there was a ring in one of those presents. So, I opened the first one. It was a trunk Organizer... Yep... you know the kind that fold up, but when opened hold all kinds of things that could help keep a clean car. Yippee!!! Then I opened a roll of Shop Towels to go in it. I was still thinking that he'd hidden the ring somewhere. A few Armoralls and Windexs later, I realized there was no ring. And not only that, the gift I was given was in NO way romantic, sweet or sentimental in the way I expected it to be. It just did not meet my expectations. It was years before I told Chad about my disappointment. I would never have wanted to hurt his feelings.

However, as I later learned, my now husband actually spent quite a long time in the store trying to get the perfect gift for me to help keep my car organized. It was a nice gesture, but because I had my "expectations" set, I couldn't see the thoughtful treat that it really was.

Sometimes expectations are an unnecessary evil. The expectations that we build up in our heads of our children and our spouses, or of the dream day we're going to have together. Or the fun vacation we've planned that ends up being the trip from hell... the fantastic meal we're going to have at our favorite restaurant that comes out cold and all wrong!

The pressure we put on each other to make lots of money, cook perfectly healthy, organic meals for our families, serve on the PTA, serve the church, keep up with laundry, be polite and welcoming to everyone,look healthy, keep a tidy house,... you get the idea. It's just too much! If we'd just be thankful for what we get, we'd never have to be disappointed! Trust me.. the expectations I put on MYself are much greater than the expectations anyone could EVER put on me. So, I just remind myself to be cautious with my expectations and pray that the same is done for me.

2 comments:

Amy said...

I guess I should start commenting, and stop stalking! :) I love this post. I get ya, girl!

Mommyof2 said...

love the blog!!