Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Realistic" Expectations

Is there such a thing? I mean really? However I think it must be possible because I have friends who do not struggle with having their expectations met. I admit, they are my more laid back friends - the ones who let things go and not stress out about everything.

Yesterday the pain in my chest started again. I say again because this happened about 18 months ago. The pain is from stress. I am becoming an expert at identifying how my body shoes signs of stress. A few are back pain, panic attacks and the lovely chest pain. I know that these are nothing to get worked up about because really the more I get worked up the worse they get. So I am trying this morning to let things go, to give myself permission to do less and EXPECT less. That is the big one!!

So I called my dear friend this morning for an unrelated issue. (to get an address in Iraq for "uncle"James) And I got a free therapy session - and it was good. I told her some of my stress causing issues (mostly in my mind) and she laughed as she gave me another perspective (one less clouded with HIGH expectations) and helped me see that things were not as they seemed! Then I went to her blog and read her "Not Me Monday" that she wrote on Tuesday and it nearly made me cry! I mean really - to write a "Not Me Monday" on Tuesday??? It was so funny and I laughed with tears in my eyes, because I know that God gave me Kristen for so many reasons - SO MANY - but today to help ease some of the stress. And for her to remind me she is praying for me and that is more powerful than I can say.

It's the holidays that do this to me. I want Christmas to be PERFECT for my kids and our family. I want it to be all about Jesus in such a way that they never forget. I want it to be fun and filled with wonderful traditions that they want to pass on to their kids, and I want it all perfect. It was not perfect when I was growing up. I guess it was okay, but I want it great now. I want, I want, I want ...... wow - maybe that is the problem. Anyway, Kristen suggested I make a list of all the things we normally do or want to do. Then to give the list to my dear husband and have him help me eliminate ones that we are not going to be able to do. SO I think I will try that out and see if that helps.

I guess I need to spend some quiet time thinking about how if adding things to the season stresses me out - that it is not what we should be doing. We should be celebrating the Savior - and that alone is perfect and enough. So I will try to set some more "realistic" expectations surrounding this month and this Christmas Season and hopefully my stress level will go down. Maybe I will even write a "Not Me Monday" on Thursday!?!?! Who would expect that??

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