I keep having conversations with people about expectations.
I am often down on myself for being behind or for doing things wrong. Yet when I try to explain this to people – my dad, for example, two weeks ago; and Barbara after Religious Ed today – they say, “Behind? According to whom?” or “Wrong? By whose standards?” or “Whose expectations are you trying to meet?”
“Mine!” I try to tell them. I can look at my life and clearly see how things should be, and where they do not meet that standard. In my mind, there are some things that just are, that seem non-negotiable.
For instance, being punctual. People should be on time. If they are not on time, that is bad. They have done something wrong. They have let down people who had to wait for them, or they missed something important; someone is certainly going to be angry about it. Sure, there are places in the world where no one wears watches and it’s all laid back and casual, but I don’t live there, with those people. So – since I am often late, and I know I should not be late, I feel guilty and upset with myself.
I have a lot of shoulds in my mind. I think that people are expected to:
- be punctual
- be neat and clean
- keep their house presentable
- be kind to others
- turn things in on time
- do things at the appropriate time
- do what you say you are going to do (follow through)
- take good care of their home(s) and car(s), inside and out
- discipline their children consistently
- shop for healthy food and cook it and eat it
There are far more things I could add, but that’s a start. It’s a silly list, I suppose. Of course people are expected to do those things! But almost everything on that list is a struggle for me. (I think I am usually kind to others.)
Is it just me? Do you have a list of things you think people are expected to do? Is it similar to mine? Are you able to do them all, or is it tough for you, too?
- I’m grateful! for the chance to go to the Rip City Basketball Classic tonight. Thank you, LaMarcus Aldridge!
- I’m lighter! I had a great talk with Barbara at church today that really lightened my spirit. I got to spend a fun evening with Lynette and David and Q. I sure didn’t lighten the load: I went to Goodwill and bought some books. And a Quirkle game, practically new, for $2.99. Hooray!