Saturday, January 3, 2015
What to Expect When You're Expecting
Bet that title gave my mom a little jolt.
Don't worry, Mom. I'm not about to spring a surprise on you. You know, like I did before.
As far as expectations go...I've spent most of my life expecting something. And I've come to realize that that's not always a good thing.
I expected 2007 to be pretty good...only to have the most God-awful year possible when Brad died that summer. 2008 rolled in and I expected things to improve, but when I look back on it...I really don't think they did. At the beginning of every year, I had a clear picture - and some pretty big expectations - of how the next 365 days were going to go.
I expected 2014 to be a life-changing year and it was, but certainly not in the way I was anticipating. I am a completely different person and not because of all of the things I was expecting to accomplish...but because of all of the obstacles I had to overcome. Which I guess in a way is its own accomplishment.
I'm still here, after all.
My therapist has been encouraging me to start keeping a journal, something that I used to always do, but I've been a little lax on in the last few years. Brad used to to tell me the only time I really journaled was when I was mad at him and since my anger with him abated around 2009 (two years after he died), I haven't really written much since then.
But I'm working on it. I've really tried to make it a habit these last couple of weeks every night before I go to bed. But here's the problem.
I haven't really had anything to write.
I'm not saying that because I don't have a life or I don't have news about the kids that I could document. But I think that most of what I used to write about in years past were mostly things I was anticipating (and worrying about). And, to be honest, right now I'm really not expecting anything.
That may sound depressing, but it's really not. I feel like this is the first year that I'm truly not expecting anything and I'm just waiting for things to come my way. That doesn't mean I won't work on goals that I have set...it just means I really have no expectations as to the outcome. And that's actually pretty liberating.
I feel like the year before me is a blank canvas. And I like it.
So, my answer to what to expect when you're expecting is...expect things to not turn out how you expected them to at all. When you're worried about something in the future, it could turn out to completely defy your expectations. When you're anticipating that your life will change, it just might...but maybe not the way you think it will (but maybe in ways that it's supposed to).
The bottom line is that expecting things from the future is kind of a waste of time. And having fewer expectations has actually given me less to worry about and more time to just be. I feel like sometimes expectations can mask what's right in front of you in the moment.
And I'm tired of missing the unexpected.