Thursday, April 20, 2017

small expectations

recently, i read about a fictional character who felt overburdened by the weight of others' expectations. it gave me pause.

no matter how casual or entangled a relationship is, there are always expectations.

when i was little, my parents expected me to eat my vegetables, be polite, keep quiet in church and get good grades. although i was quite mischievous at times, i was never burdened with doing what was expected of me.

in school, i enjoyed the challenges of meeting and exceeding the expectations of teachers. i followed the rules and was obedient.

i don't recall having difficulty with meeting expectations in the numerous jobs i've had over the many years of my career. for the most part i was a give me the goal you want to achieve and then get out of my way while i do it kind of worker. no one complained about the results i produced.

meeting expectations in entangled adult relationships has been a stumbling block for me. that's all i'm going to say about that.

as a 64 year old woman who lives alone, i have few expectations to manage other than those of my my employer. i do what i want, when i want. i like this about the life i've created. sometimes i feel guilty but rarely burdened. it's taken years to understand myself and what i need to be truly happy. i thrive on lots of quiet time, hours to be alone with my thoughts, to read, craft, sew, walk in the woods. i really don't want a lot of responsibility or expectations. spending time with my kids and grandkids is the big exception. when guilty thoughts of things i should be doing for others seep into my head, i remind myself that we each only get one life to live. if this makes me selfish, then i totally own that word.

on the flip side, i try to have few expectations of others. it's hard for me to ask for help. by keeping my life simple and small, i have fewer needs and so ask less of others. it works for me.

that dude up top is kiefer fynn nash. kiefer is a german surname meaning pine tree or barrel maker. fynn means bright and fair in gaelic. nash is a surname derived from middle english meaning at the ash tree. i imagine him as a woodsman, adept at identifying all the trees, gathering kindling, chopping down trees. he's quiet, contemplative, kind to nature and animals, a loner like me.

when not in the woods, kiefer sits and watches me work all day. he has zero expectations of me. my only expectation of fynn is that he sit quietly. this relationship works for me.

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