Posts tagged ‘expectations’

those pesky expectations

By early evening both girls were yawning and rubbing their eyes. So we piled into bed with a huge stack of books, planning on reading until we were too sleepy to continue. Eventually we tossed the last book aside, Xi climbed into her bed, and I snuggled up with an exhausted Echo. But… as the lights dimmed and the room quieted, Echo’s eyes grew wider, her legs began to fidget, and her body twisted about until she had ramped all the way back to fully awake.

Echo: I love you Mom.

Me: I love you too.

Echo: And I love Xi.

Me: She loves you too.

Echo: And I love Bella, and Papa, and Xi.

Me: Yeah. Goodnight sweet love…

Echo: Mom? (tossing, turning)

Me: Yeah?

Echo: I just had a hard day. I just had a real hard day.

Me: Oh.

Echo: Yeah. I just… don’t… Mom…. can I…. (wiggling)

Me: Can I rub your back a little?

Echo: Yeah. I like it firm.

Me: Okay.

Echo: Can we stop now? (wiggling again)

Me: Okay.

Echo: I have to go poop Mom.

Me: Echo, it really is time for sleep.

Echo: But I have to go poop!

Me: Should I keep rubbing your back?

Echo: Okay!

Mom? I gotta go poop.

Me: Echo I feel like you are just saying that because you want to get up.

Echo: Yeah!

Me: I don’t want to get up. It’s time for sleep.

Echo: But I got to go poop!

Me: Are you being honest? Will poop actually come out of your body if you sit on the toilet?

Echo: I… just…

Me: It sounds like you want to get up.

Echo: Okay!

Me: It’s actually time for sleep though.

Echo: I gotta pooooooooop.

Me: If we get to the bathroom and you don’t actually poop, I will feel upset that you said you had to when really you don’t.

Echo: I gotta poop.

We get up, she sits on the toilet. No poop but there is: pssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss. Then we head back to bed and within a minute I hear: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

It really was no big deal to get out of bed in the end, so why did I resist? The answer is that I had an expectation. I expected her to fall asleep quickly, and that simple thought made it so that I got all kinked up when something different happened. A million moments like this happen every single day. I expect to go grocery shopping but don’t manage to make it happen. I expect a sunny sky for the dog walk and get snowy rain instead. Millions of expectations means that I get disjointed millions of times a day. Not good! Well, at least not enjoyable for me.

If I could ditch my expectations, even the tiny ones, I’d never have to adjust to a new reality. I’d simply do whatever was happening, and probably actually enjoy it.

Once on the toilet Echo said:

Mom, the word “pee” and the letter “P” rhyme.

Me: Yeah. They are the same sound. The word “pee” actually starts with the letter “P”.

Echo: Yeah. But one says: puh, puh, puh, and the other one says: psssssssssssssss.

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March 31, 2010 at 8:29 pm 4 comments

no green guy yet

Well I ended that last post filled with bravado, a devil-may-care attitude, and an actual plan to go out the very next day and buy that bird.

But I didn’t.

We did go to a store and look at cages and perches and food bowls. But it didn’t feel right. My inner judgmental voice was saying: Buy the used $60 birdcage, grab a few essentials and call it good. But the me of me, the shiny spirit that loves that bird and wants the best for him was saying: No! This doesn’t feel right! This is not what I was dreaming of. So I actually started crying amidst the wooden perches and seed treats. My family was pretty confused.

So we didn’t get the bird and instead drove to the hot springs. Nathan and I analyzed my feelings about money and what the bird means to me, in the biggest sense, while we drove out of town and into the woods. We slipped and slid on the icy path until we found ourselves deep in moose country and soaking in a gravely, slimy, sulphurous pool. (It sounds gross but feels heavenly.) We joined a nice man named Larry who had already found a comfy spot against a rock. Bella entertained him with lengthy conversation while the rest of us did nothing much at all, just stared at the view and moved our legs in wishy swirls.

We even heard a tree crash down in the woods. I’ve never heard that before. A mythical sound.

I’d like to report that I triumphed over my inner demons, manifested riches, told my inner jury to f__ off, and returned with a happy little green guy, but I can’t. It was a beautiful day, yes. A fantastic family adventure day, yes. A relaxing sweet early spring celebration day, yes. But alas, not a bird buying day.

March 17, 2010 at 7:02 pm 1 comment

oh universe

Lately there has been an opportunity for steady money floating in the air, and for the last week I have been living my life as though this opportunity was not just an idea but the actual reality of our life… and I liked it.

Then today there was a phone call that let me know I shouldn’t have “counted my eggs before they were hatched”.

Bummer.

My face went flush. I asked a lot of questions. But simply put, they went with the other guy, or girl.

Darn.

I couldn’t tell right away what it was that I was feeling in response. Then I realized it was anger. At the Universe. If you are perfect for something, and that something comes along, and the people in charge of that something think you are also perfect for that something, then why isn’t that something ours? What more can a person do, or be? So then I was like, (head bobbing and weaving), alright Universe, if this isn’t what you are offering, then the alternative better be good.

And I know it will be… (or is already, we have certainly been blessed in our self-employment). There is a bright side. The stability vs. flexibility dichotomy is certainly one to ponder, as I want to be in Mexico with Kris next February, and employers don’t usually go for that gone-for-over-a-month kind of thing. Employers don’t usually even like you to duck out to see your child at her dance class. And that’s the kind of thing we like to do. In fact all the kid focused stuff is the stuff we like to do, so maybe it is better to live in the world of unsteady, but flexible income.

If I’m honest with myself I can see that the fearful part of me wants steady income, even if it means selling our souls to the working-for-someone-else devil. But underneath that fear is the real me, the fearless me, the artist me, the completely confident me. If I live through her I’m fine.

But back to feeling mad. Feeling mad at the Universe is a tricky place to be, it borders on blasphemous, or at the very least ungrateful, a feeling I am not too comfortable with. And of course, today Echo needed me to be with her more than usual. Her top choices were: 1. nurse, 2. read a book, and 3. play together. This had already been going on for most of the day, and if you haven’t realized, all of these options involve sitting quietly in one place and giving her my complete focus. Well, when one is mad at the Universe this kind of activity is akin to torture.

Luckily there was an older sister at the ready, and a giant box of play-doh and toys that we had forgotten about for a couple years, to distract her.

And even luckier for me, Nathan and I immediately got involved in moving every single box/bag/thing out of the basement. This may not sound like the perfect remedy for any malady, but let me tell you, there is nothing I like better than clearing out old stuff. And this version meant moving my body, and paving the way for our remodel, something I’ve been thinking about and planning for years.

Moving all those things helped me bridge that yawning gap between expecting something, and then discovering that expectation was not coming true. And the anger that came from that disparity ebbed after only a few trips up and down the basement stairs.

But I’d like to learn to not expect anything, not have anything in mind for how I think things will turn out, not the future, not the day, not bedtime. I think I’d have an easier time. In any case, now I am feeling tired in a good way, satiated by a hearty meal, in love with my partner, and proud of the work we already do/have. Not bad.

February 17, 2010 at 10:34 pm 2 comments


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