Monday, May 13, 2013

The Distance Between...

...expectations and reality is where most unhappiness resides.

I feel this most keenly around holidays--pretty much all of them. Well, maybe not Memorial Day. There aren't many hopes & dreams pinned on Memorial Day are there? We don't hold these images of the "perfect Memorial Day" in our heads since childhood. Nor are there any obligations on either my part or anyone else's. I like Memorial Day. 

The other time I feel it is at the end of a stressful period. I just imagine there will be some sort of celebratory, festive something...but, no. I came home Friday fresh in the triumph of a challenge met and got right to...making dinner. 

In actuality, it ended up being quite a lovely weekend. I did indulge myself in a tiny bit of self-pity about all the things that did not go as desired. Strangely, I didn't really have anything concrete in mind for how I wanted the weekend to go, just...differently. Better behaved kids? More agreeable husband? More sunshine? If I don't even know myself what I wanted, how should anyone else? (they just should, that's all. they should simply read deep into the winding crevices of my mixed-up mind)

On a whim I had bought & planted some strawberry plants in a container out back. Yesterday we saw 2 tiny pink&white berries. B was so excited. L lunged immediately to pull them off the stem. I stopped him but he did end up grabbing up half of my chives, and wailed for a couple of minutes in frustration at his thwarted efforts. 

It's complicated, life these days. Its really impossible to have a homogeneously "good" moment, much less a whole day. But that would be boring, right? (right?)


  1. Lol at "better behaved children" and "more agreeable husband". I know what you mean - I think pre-kids we were better at making time to celebrate or mark transitions like birthdays, big projects at work, job changes, etc.

    I think it gets better when the kids get older (or at least that's what I'm telling myself!). I've also noticed that we do better when I voice my expectations. For example, I wanted time to myself to craft yesterday and asked for it, which made my Mother's Day a lot better.

  2. The baby and I spent the weekend sick. I didn't even get out of bed to call my mom. Today I am grateful that nobody is throwing up.

  3. "...expectations and reality is where most unhappiness resides."

    SOOOO agree with this. currently hanging out by myself. powered through 30 minutes of jillian michaels, then made dinner, then wrote a blog post. and honestly it was really lovely, as was my brief time with annabel this evening.

    i could spend the time sulking about feeling alone and a single mom but . . . there was nothing BAD about tonight. i could also worry about what it will be like when a is older or when we have more kids, but . .. why? (and also: no one is forcing me to have more kids right now, or ever, although i do want at least one more eventually. must remind myself of this when it seems like eveyone with a child a's age has already made a preg. announcement).

    ok, sorry if this went off topic. just in a rambling mood tonight. and your quote fits in with my line of thinking exactly.

  4. Well, here's a belated congratulations! You are an ass-kicking researcher and a rock star mama, so happy Friday and happy mother's day. I'm glad it was lovely, even if maybe there was something mysterious missing.

    Oh MY GOD, the plants! I feel like every single time I'm standing there in the yard having a happy moment, admiring my children playing, being happy that some plant is doing so well, suddenly out of NOWHERE Bun Bun appears and rips it apart like a wild animal. Going to be a hard summer for Mama because I am like a mother bear about my plants.

    Hey, I thought you would be SUPER EXCITED to know that I've adopted your salad for lunch plan. MMMM! Loving it.

  5. We planted some basil a couple of weeks ago, and W keeps going to "check" on his "flowers," but in the process of checking, he tends to trample and break. I was thinking that I might plant two of things in the future so that he could have one to "check" and I could have one that might survive to full growth.

    I often have weekends where I *think* I have no expectations, but then I realize after the fact that I had a bunch of hidden expectations that I had not articulated, even to myself. And when those unspoken and hidden expectations were not magically met, the funk sets in. I think it might help me to state expectations early in an otherwise unplanned weekend--to myself, to my husband, to my journal--just so those hidden ones aren't popping up and belatedly affecting what was otherwise a great weekend.