Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Expectations

Welcome, Tuesday!  Have you ever received those ads in the mail with coupons for special days or exclusive door busters for a particular day like Presidents Day, Valentines Day or other holidays? The lure of these ads makes it sound like it such a good deal at 70% off or free shipping and maybe it is a great deal, but you have to wait for the particular day to use the coupon, which is fine. Waiting can be hard, but it builds the anticipation inside, or, at least, it does for me as I prepare for the bargain of a lifetime, or so I think. Maybe it's just me? Am I alone out there? Do you ever build the expectation to be disappointed?

Isn't that how we build our lives sometimes?

We walk around with these unrealistic expectations for ourselves, things, circumstances, vacations, people, money or situations where we think someone or something will meet the need we have, but you end up disappointed? Has that ever happened to you? {Raises hand} As an individual, I can openly say, I put a lot of unrealistic expectations on myself that are not healthy, and they leave me disappointed. I think it often makes me feel like a failure, when in reality that is the farthest thing from the truth. As human beings, we like to clutter our schedules with so many appointments and events that we can't even remember what happened the previous hour because we want to wear the crown of honor for being the king or queen of busyness. We pride ourselves on being a fast pace society that moves at the speed of lighting, meeting demands, expectations and always measuring up, but it leaves me more disappointed, restless and empty.

I've been feeling this way a lot lately; especially as my world feels like chaos. I've been trying to sort out the pieces of the debris from my life over the past few months, but it seems daunting certain days. Grief is draining physically, emotionally and mentally. I'm burning out helping my mom with my Grandma's home and if I'm feeling this way, I can't imagine how she's feeling? Family and friends are suffering all around us and I can only a lend a hand here or there, which has been so hard. I want to be all in and in this season, I can't, which makes me feel like a failure. Isn't that how personal expectations are? They make us feel unworthy; they shame us, and they place demands that aren't realistic.

Finally, I have this expectation THAT I should be running by now, which is REALLY stressing me out because if I can't run, I have a difficult time managing my emotions. Everyone has an outlet for stress, and high physical endurance is my drug of choice. Being on complete restriction is forcing physical rest, and it's driving me NUTS! I'm not the only one, ask my husband. I have six stretches, and they are boring me.  The PT gave me a new stretch yesterday, and I was so grateful that I can add a new one into the mix.  However, he is optimistic about getting me on the treadmill at my next appointment, but I'm trying to tame my expectation in the event it doesn't happen.

Expectations.
We all have them.
We set high standards for ourselves.
For others.
For life.

Last night, where Drew would typically feel what was like a ball under both feet, was no longer present. The tightness and inflammation are healing where the Plantar Fasciitis once was. It's healing beautifully, and tears pour down my face as I type these words. I've waited so long to be pain-free. Three years in the making. Every race would end in pain. Surgery was even on the table, shots and all kinds of other crazy things that I was not ready to even consider, but my options were dwindling. My tight calves are slowing relaxing, and I'm finding relief. I had no expectation for this outcome. In fact, I had not touched the bottom of my feet because I didn't want to be disappointed, again.

Should we have expectations for life? I think so. However, my personal expectations haven't been healthy, and if anything, this season has taught me if I can only manage a few things in life, that is all I can do. I can't worry about everything else; I can do only the things placed in front of me. Nothing more, nothing less. Individual seasons we can handle more situations than others. It's okay to admit in this season; I need to take a step back and say "no" to certain things, to be fully present in other areas. 

Have you ever found that you set unrealistic expectations in your life? What happened? Have you experienced burned out? 

2 comments:

Susan P said...

God doesn't expect us to be able to help every situation that crosses our path. Plus, remember that a smile or a hug go a long way to helping even if you think you aren't doing enough. You realize that society gives us guilt if we aren't constantly "helping" others - and that is the first step (realizing it). Society isn't our compass - God is. I need that reminder also! You two are doing way more than anyone could ever ask of you. :)

Two Runners Travel said...

It is normal to have expectations of yourself, but I think whenever you have expectations of others, you are always disappointed. I'm so happy that you are finally having some improvement with plantar fasciitis. Hopefully you will be back out on the streets running very soon. Obviously C and I are hoping for the same.