There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
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Monday, November 5, 2007

I Got Nothin' but Expectations

Earlier Today: Here it is, November, the month you are supposed to post and post and post in. I have nothing to say. I should be grateful for something, but I am just grateful for the same fine things I am always grateful for. Nothing new's popped up.

I don't feel too well, physically, and my mind is almost as grumpy as Lee's, which is not a good combo, either. I need to be thinking of something to help move forward. Many things ARE moving forward. I need to get my head and heart to do so as well.

Wow, I really can't think of anything useful--no thoughts on life, no positive ideas, no real need to whine about anything. I am one big bundle of snooze!!! I guess this is one of those days I really should not feel obligated to blog, huh.

Later in the Day: I knew if I concentrated on technical writing long enough whatever was bubbling beneath the surface would pop up. And it did.

What has me so grumpy? Lee so grumpy? Beccano so grumpy? It's not having our unspoken expectations met! When we are going along, looking forward to something happening, then for one reason or another it doesn't happen how or when we expect it, we just get peevish, leading to irritation, and often culminating in grumpiness.

Examples? OK!

1. On Friday I felt yucky, so I left work early, sacrificing many dollars of income, so I could go home and collapse in bed and try to regain strength. I was so looking forward to getting home, going upstairs and falling asleep. Instead, I walked into the house, smelled something AWFUL, went upstairs and found a dog covered in poo. So I had to remove the crate, then wash the very heavy, reluctant, waterproof-haired and sickly dog. And then I had to wait and see if she was gonna roll around in the dirt when I let her out (no, she was too busy having intestinal distress, thankfully). Gosh, I don't know how the dog gets so sick. Could it be EATING HUGE PIECES OF WOOD AS A HOBBY??? Anyway, I got extra grumpy because my expectation was thwarted.

2. Yesterday we did a bunch of errands after church. We drove all over the place looking at drum sets, guitar music, banjos and such items, fueled by the boys' desired to learn. We ended up with a bass guitar manual and some fine Wolf Mother sheet music. I'd sorta hoped Beccano would show more interest in the things he had dragged us all over the place to see, and had a blister, so I was mildly messed up on expectations. Lee kept asking us what we wanted to eat and no one had a preference. We ended up saying we just wanted to go home and eat (me wanting to get the boots off, Tuba Boy wanting to bond with his peers as usual, and Beccano wanting to eat Halloween candy for lunch (guessing on that one)). Lee began acting more and more testy, and eventually snapped at all of us, because he wanted to go somewhere for lunch because he needs to eat every so often or he has an issue. He had the expectation that we would all want to eat at 3 pm, whereas we'd all snacked enough at church that we were willing to wait for dinner. If Lee had voiced his expectation, we'd probably have been more cooperative on the lunch topic. And if I had mentioned my shore feet, we probably would not have gone to Costco on the way home, which had me about crippled by the time it was over (but we got good stuff to eat).

3. Last night Beccano got grumpy, and he said to me, "I hate it when things don't go the way I was expecting them to." (He had forgotten when a test was, which completely changed his evening plans.) That's what originally got me thinking about how thwarted expectations cause much familial grumpiness.

4. Tuba Boy had the truck last night, taking a girl to get (once again, not a date, "She's a lesbian, Mom!") ice cream after she got off work at 9. He knew 10 was his expected home time. However, his expectation was that if something came up that caused him to be late, a phone call telling us would be sufficient. Lee's expectation was that he would be able to figure out how long it would take to get the girl home then himself home by ten (and not get lost--which he did do). Neither Tuba Boy nor Lee had voiced his expectations to the other. No, they'd both told ME. I tend to get in the middle. The good news is that Lee has talked to him about his expectations, so maybe less frustration will be had by all. He has also cleared up a "getting a ride to school" expectation Beccano had.

I think maybe all of us need to voice our expectations ahead of time, and things will go easier. Let people know what you expect and they will either live up to it or let you know ahead of time why they can't. And I need to not let my heart get set on things being a certain way--that is often how I end up upset when I get home from work. I drive home all full of expectations of a happy loving family doing x, y or z and when something else happens instead, I am disappointed. I should know better. You just can't know what other people will be doing or thinking unless you ask them.

Side note: this reminds me of those Saturday Night Live skits (or whichever show it was) on "Lowered Expectations," the dating service for people who are hard to match up.


Saranda said...

I have trouble with this expectation thing too. My kids are finally learning that I'm not a mind reader, but I don't seem to be learning that same lesson as quickly.

Often I realize I had an expectation only after I experience disappointment.

Good luck with this!

Des said...

My marraige has been built on 20 years of constantly adjusting expectations, so I really understand your post. If only my mate was verbal enought to actually state his expectations things would always be smoother. I hope you feel more positive as the week goes on. Between election day and the approaching holiday season, it is normal for us to be feeling less energy and more grumpy. I just want to curl up in bed and sleep it off!