Step One: Throw Away Expectations

Posted on | August 8, 2011 | 3 Comments

My first step in the process of choosing happy is apparently choosing to let go of expectations.

I have a lot of expectations. I have a lot of things I want, a lot of things I believe should happen, and a lot a lot a LOT of plans.  And today, I woke up all starry-eyed and happy-choosing, believing that I could will myself into awesome. I expected something awesome to just sort of evolve out of me choosing this new way of thinking.  But I sort of missed an important step.

I am ending the day as happy as I began it, but not because I had an awesome day… quite the contrary.  Midway through my day I got an email that rubbed me the wrong way.  It was immediately followed by a comment from a stranger that doubled the feeling.  Then I got an email telling me that the judge decided to clear his calendar for Friday and my divorce would need to be rescheduled.

And then I found myself in the bathroom, a toilet firmly imprinted on my ass, crying into a roll of toilet paper and a slew of texts and tweets.

Not exactly where I thought my “choosing happy” would lead me.

Or was it?

When I stopped worrying and fussing with how wrong everything was, I realized that I missed the point of choosing to be happy. It isn’t that you choose to be happy and suddenly everything goes your way.  The point, the magic, is to choose to be happy with the way things go.

I got to daycare and J had crawled into a very small space under a sink and scratched his face up on his cheek and forehead. He wasn’t bleeding when I got there, but his face was shiny from the neosporin.

Close eyes, deep breaths.

We got home, and it started storming and J is terrified of storms.  He was bawling before we even got inside the house, begging the clouds to “hush!” I started to get all worked up about it… started to worry how to calm him down.

Breathe, Momma.

The power went out midway through heating up dinner with a clap of thunder and a flash of lightening.  J suddenly needed to be in my arms at all times, including while having his diaper changed.

I’m still breathing.

It’s dark, the food is half heated, and J is begging to watch Mickey Mouse on the television that will not work without, you know, power.

Inhale, Exhale.

AJ pooped all over the kitchen floor in the midst of a giant clap of thunder.

Breathing was starting to get labored… it wasn’t quite calming me down the way I hoped it would.  I stood in my pitch black kitchen, with J wrapped around my leg, holding a bottle of bleach and a paper towel, trying to shield J from poop and clean it up at the same time.  This was not how my happy day was supposed to go!

I could have cried.  I could have ended up back in the bathroom, firmly planted on my ass, surrounded by used tissues.  But really, this was too much.  I started laughing.  When the universe chooses to test your resolve, it really throws it at you, doesn’t it?

This was not a perfect day.  There are going to be a lot more not-so-perfect days.  Hopefully they won’t all end in dog poo. But I think as long as I can close my eyes at the end of the day, take deep breaths, and laugh, I’m going to be okay.  I can’t just expect things to be perfect… I have to be perfectly fine with the way things are.  It’s going to be a struggle for me as perfectionism is my favorite sin, but I’m going to learn to be okay with the struggle.  I’m going to be happy with the way things are… even when they aren’t the way I so perfectly planned them.

And really? Wine helps, too.  I’m just saying.


3 Responses to “Step One: Throw Away Expectations”

  1. Jana A
    August 8th, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

    Cry til you laugh and laugh til you cry. Cheers!

  2. Anthony from CharismaticKid
    August 9th, 2011 @ 12:59 am

    Well… I basically turn everything into a positive for me.

    My cat dies? She’s probably swimming in fish up in heaven.

    My bike is stolen? That person needed it more than I did. Plus, I wanted a mountain bike anyway. And also, times of adversity will give me hunger to work harder to get out of being POOR.

    You see how it works? I bleed positivity. I think it was a mix of catholic upbringing plus PLENTY of self development throughout college.

  3. Anthony from CharismaticKid
    August 9th, 2011 @ 1:00 am

    Btw, if you want to chat about anything, LET ME KNOW. We can do a facebook video chat! Or a google hangout! I have a way of breaking paradigms like ‘taint noones business.

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