I have had a really hard time writing for the past few days. My mind has been uncooperative and my thoughts have been swirling about viciously.
It has felt like my soul was swallowed by my own expectations, by all the things I don’t have time to do. I’m not really surprised I feel like this. I almost always do on finals week. I still haven’t found the perfect way to cope and just push through as best I can. The truth is I expect far too much from myself.
I expect myself to be able to be a great mother who cooks homemade meals, prepares nutritious yummy snacks, and plays anytime my baby asks.
I expect myself to be a high-achieving student who turns in all the assignments, gets all A’s, and never waits until the last minute.
I expect myself to be an established career woman who is never late for work, finishes all tasks ahead of deadline, and brings in donuts on Friday’s for the office.
I expect myself to be a wonderful wife that can make sure her husband’s only worry is what time dinner will be done and gets the entire house clean every day.
I expect myself to be a whole and healthy individual who does yoga 4 times a week, eats healthy meals 3 times a day, and brushes her hair and teeth every morning.
I expect myself to be a strong blogger who posts daily and includes beautiful images, analogies, and information.
I expect A LOT from myself and I don’t always accept that no one in the world could do everything I expect to do on my own. I think if I ever asked anyone to do all these things I would be laughed out of the country. It would be reasonable to pick one or two things from each category to do each week but I don’t think it is possible to do them all.
Even knowing this, I have had a really hard time this week managing my own expectations this week.
It has felt like a storm just on the horizon. Far enough away that it is still warm and sunny where I am but the wind is picking up and the ominous clouds are clearly visible.
When I saw today’s daily prompt I felt relief because it encouraged me to get all of those unrealistic expectations out of my chest and onto a more permanent medium. A medium where I can look at them one by one and combat them by setting actually achievable expectations.
Writing this post has been really cathartic and has made my mind and soul feel lighter than it has in days. It allowed me to give myself a more realistic list of expectations.
I will do what I can to be a great mom, student, businesswoman, wife, person, and writer by accepting that I am human and doing what I can.
I was, and still am, very tempted to go into more detail on my new and improved expectations but I think that will defeat the purpose. I am a perfectionist. I have found that the more detail I go into the more I want to follow those details to a tee or consider it a failure.
I love S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timed) because they are easier to meet and allow for a more structured approach. I think though sometimes I need to let go and just do my best. It is silly to try and do yoga four times a week if it means I stress out all day about finding time for it. It is counterproductive to stress about how good of a mom I am being if it means being less present around my daughter.
So, here is to managing expectations and being present for the day ahead!
If you ever feel like you have the same problem I do of expecting too much of yourself here are some of the tips and tricks I have been given over the years that may help next time you feel swallowed by expectations!
- Take a deep breath and refocus your energy to the present moment. Breath in through your nose like you are smelling a beautiful flower and then out through your mouth like you are blowing out birthday candles. Do this as many times as it takes to calm down. This helps regulate the heart rate and calm the mind.
- List out your unrealistic expectations. Similar to what I did above list out what all you are expecting yourself to do. Then ask yourself what would someone else say if I handed them this to-do list? Consider what you think their reaction would be.
- Prioritize what you want from that day. Whether you want to be present with your family, take care of yourself, or get a chunk of productivity done figure out what is most important and act towards that.
- Be patient and kind with yourself. You are not superhuman most likely (if you are that is really amazing!). I have found talking to myself like I would my best friend helps keep my inner-critic in check on days where I feel worst.
Thank you for reading and have a beautiful day!!