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Too Many Aspirations and Expectations

My numerous aspirations and expectations and absolutes are a few of my favorite weapons of self-destruction adding to the slow but certain loss of my mind. What’s left is now being eaten away slowly by my toddler and 9-year-old. I am left to spin in circles with the one foot nailed down, drooling like some captured Mommy Zombie groaning, “Brains, brains”. Because these brains are what I seem to be lacking and in need of replacement these days.

My arsenal of self defeat is well stocked with a life time of my weapons of self-destruction. The over used expectometer seems to have me thinking that many things are doable when in fact they really aren’t. Like my recent vacation that wasn’t relaxing because kids + vacation time may not equal that relaxation you equate with a vacation. The booby trap I fall for every time is the concept that I’m super Mom and I’ll be able to accomplish all my household and blog tasks, or those thrown at me by my husband (“Can you go get, go mail, or call blank?”), fulfill the instantaneous needs of my children (she’s fallen and is crying again for the tenth time TODAY), aaannndd take on a DIY project that involves a sewing machine. The expectometer will self destruct in five…four…three…two… Kablewie.

water guns from Shalavee.com

The regular imbibing of tonic water and my Absolutes gets me thinking that before I get to do/enjoy A, I must first be done with B. I can’t… read a book…redecorate that room…or go out with a friend…until I’ve…cleaned the house…balanced the checkbook… or decided what my purpose in life is. There’s contingencies I’m tripping over everywhere. If you did this to a kid, you’d be the meanest parent ever. For real, you would be. You can’t have this until you do that. Eventually the kid concedes he’ll just never get anything because the bar keeps getting moved. And he gives up on him/herself, figuring he/she is no longer worth the struggle.

And then there’s my many many many numerous aspirations. Nothing is wrong with wanting more in one’s life. But when everything you want to do is constantly piled high as the sky on this platter, you end up feeling overwhelmed and under-capable. I’ve got people, projects, and changes that need to happen in my To-Do line up. And my system for scheduling and delegation to even handle the daily tasks sucks. So imagine when you throw all the other ‘change the world’ stuff on top. Then it becomes me who sucks. Dispersed and frustrated, I can never feel like I am getting anywhere. How Ya' Doin' from Shalavee.com

Lastly, there’s my lack of boundaries. This inability to decide when to say no, who to say no to, and what to toss out of my antiquated lifestyle and system management, leaves me raw. Because there’s just not enough time or energy in the day for all of it. And I fear Mommy’s zombie brain will begin taking others out with her.

I am going to focus on systems now, writing it all down, practice saying no to everyone including myself, and figure out a way to be OK with not being on top of it all always. And if things are unfinished or screwed up, I’m going to practice letting go. Practice makes perfect. And dismantling a well established arsenal takes time.

Crossing the Transition Bridge

I wonder how it is possible that people all over the world can really know themselves and their talents well enough to do work that satisfies them. And also ask for the right payment. I wonder how people are making such an impact knowing their gifts and sharing them to help the world, themselves, and so many others at the same time. Because I struggle every day to get just the right angle, the right understanding of what it is I’m here to do.

selfie from below on Shalavee.com

I stepped back recently and reminded myself that when I need perspective on my gifts, I need to go to the kudos file I have and remember all the really kick butt awesome things people, often strangers even, have said to me that have made such a difference to my esteem.

I'm an artist selfie from Shalavee.com

Andrea was the one who told me that I really am a good enough a writer to be published in magazines. Mr. Jerry, a former magazine guy had already told me this. Linda at the drugstore said that my hair always looks good. Amanda said my writing is just as good as anything on Huff Post. Over our dinner at the brew pub, Jill sweetly gushed in telling me what a good writer I was. My Christmas tree for the church last year garnered such enthusiastic responses from people I admired and don’t usually hear from. I have felt pretty good about myself this year on several occasions.

Mark and I driving over the bridge on Shalavee.com

I forget who I am. As soon as I’ve felt the compliment goodness for a day, it begins to fade and I forget who I am and what it is I give to the world. If your internal image doesn’t fit the outside world’s, nothing sticks in there. There is an exchange of energy that I’m paying attention to now. I’ve gotta build up the bottom of the pit so stuff like compliments and esteem stay in it.

It's not you but who you think you're not fromtruthinmotherhoodblog via Shalavee.com

What purpose does it serve to have a self-esteem sieve? No risks and no change means no failure I suppose. But eventually it’s too painful to stay. A transition bridge is there for me to cross and it’s a hard one. As if I’m crossing it in the dark built on foundations of faith I’ve never had before. But I”m taking it one step at a time and adding the cross boards from the compliments of the lovely people given to me daily. The nails keeping it together are made from gratitude. Keep it coming Universe, keep it coming.

Barbie Dream House

I had one of those apples to oranges moments a couple of weeks ago and again last week. The one where I compared where I was to where I believed someone else was and then despaired over it. Compared my insides to someone else’s outsides. And it wasn’t just a moment, it lasted a couple of days. I sat with it willing it to wash over me.

There are many women writers and bloggers online I greatly admire. I feel honestly lucky to be able to read their writing and be moved by them. And in a wobbly moment, I found myself thinking, “I really can’t write like that. Not that well.” Which is partially true. I write the way I do and they the way they do and our writings are sometimes as good in different ways. But each of us is always the best person for the “being us” job.

Fiona and the digger from Barbi Dream houses on Shalavee.com

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Until you get a rejection letter and those other people get published on Huffington Post the next day. Then, as you’re trying to be gracious and share and support them, they go and get published again. And they gush at how they can’t believe it. That’s when the girl with the new Barbie Dream House needs to go suck it.

Seems my definition of myself in my head is the girl who’ll never get the Barbie Dream House. I don’t drive the right pink sports car. I don’t hang out with the hip Kens. And even Skipper thinks I’m weird and shoves me towards those Bratz dolls. But this gal with the new Barbie Dream House who I’m trying so hard not to envy? She’s also the gal who would out herself in a snappy momentito for feeling begrudging of another’s success.

drawing on the porch from Barbie Dream House on Shalavee.com

So I took my time and I let that possible resentment go into the cosmos. And I resigned myself to resubmit something else to Huff Post and something else again. Because her hard work and my hard work are commendable and the apples and the oranges might be fruit but there are many many different factors in having them flourish and be added to fruit salads all over the globe. Styles and editors and forces that be just need to have the antes upped.

And no one is begrudging me my Barbie Dream House but me.

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