Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Welcome... Just Don't Expect Much

Yesterday morning, while I was headed into the grocery store, I walked past a display of door mats. One caught my attention, it said, "Welcome. Just dont expect much."

I thought "wow", and I stood there for a moment, child in arms, and stared at it. Boy, did I need that welcome mat, but over the course of gathering my groceries I talked myself out of it.

First of all, it was'nt too inviting, and although meant to be humuros, it could also be taken the wrong way.

But as I shopped though, I couldn't help but thinking about all the expectations that have been bestowed upon me when I walked through the front door of my home, or when I greet someone at that very same door.

Welcome. Just don't expect much.

When my husband walks through the door he expects three things of me:
1. I'll be home.
2. To be greeted at the door.
3. Supper will be on the table.

But my husband isn't the only one who has expectations of me, so do my children. My oldest child expects me to be at the bus stop on time and see that we get home safely. Then after walking through the front entrance of our home, my oldest child also looks to me as a source of information for tutoring homework assignments, and my other children look at me as a source of getting their next meal, entertaining them, and readng to them during the day. At night, I'm expected to orchastrate the clean up of supper, bath time of children, and tucking-in at bedtime. In addition to household chores and seeing to our home's maintenance.

Those are a lot of expectations to bring through the door. The list above could go on and on, and somedays I feel as if I'd like to shed those expectations, wipe my feet of them, and leave them on the mat while I serve a new purpose - one for myself.

Yet, I have a whole new list of expectations for myself. Just don't expect much. I don't, I expect everything from myself. Sometimes, when keeping up with the household, I, like many others I know, get stuck in a rut of "If I don't do it, it will never get done."

In most cases that maybe true, but more often than not, we would not have to do it alone if we asked, accept help from others, and voiced our need to those offering to help us. It's like stopping to ask for directions when you'd much rather keep driving around and around trying to find the right place to turn--only to become increasingly faustrated later.

Turning our expectations in the right direction is the first step of not letting expectations overwhelm you. Accepting there will always be expectations of yourself - by you and from others, elevates the weight expectations put on our shoulders and pull you down.

We fall when we let someone pull the mat out from under us. We stumble at the sight of another expectation finding it's way to increase the weight of our daily responsibilities. Yet, we strive best when we are able to take those expectations and rationalize them, make lists out of them, and take baby steps to achieve the ones most important to use.

Perhaps the next time someone walks up to my door they'll read a door mat that says "Welome. Expect the unexpected."

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