Monthly Archives: November 2017

Is it okay to expect someone to do what you’d do?

Someone I know is letting me down.

They’re not acting how I want them to act. They’re not doing what I want them to do. They’re not being how I want them to be.

And I’m pissed.

I’ve learned that “expectations are premeditated resentments.” If I expect you to be a certain way, I’m setting myself up to resent you when you’re not that way.

Even if it’s the “right” and “best” way to be. Even if it’s what I’d do if I were them.

Is it okay to expect someone to do what you’d do? To act like you’d act? To be like you’d be?

I’ve decided, for now, that it’s okay to expect it, but that by expecting it, I’m potentially setting myself up to be disappointed. And resentful. And even hurt.

So maybe it’s okay to expect it, or to at least want it. But I’ve learned to be realistic. If this person hasn’t acted like I would act in a certain situation before, what would make me think they’d do that now? No matter how much I want them to? Nothing really. Not if I’m realistic.

So probably best is to admit that I want it but not to expect it. I can wish for this person to be the way I want them to be – to be the way I’d be – and then find a way to be happy with whatever I get or go somewhere else for what I really want and need. “Don’t go to a hardware store for oranges,” I also learned long, long ago.

Expecting someone to be anything is setting myself up to be let down. And honestly, I’ve been let down enough.

It’s a fine line, I think. I’ve had to work hard to be okay with wanting what I want. I’ve had to work hard at realizing I’m allowed to have wants and needs. And I’ve had to work hard to learn that just because I want it doesn’t always mean that others can and will give it to me, and that I therefore have to find it for myself.

Bottom line, I think it’s okay to have standards and things I want, and I think I’m most okay when I don’t need anyone to hit any marks and act in any specific ways. When I just let them be, and I just be.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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A letter from my father

I’ve written many times about how tough my relationship with Danny, my father, can be. I’ve told stories of his anger and distance when I was young, and of his anger and distance now that I’m an adult.

I wonder what he truly feels. I used to never know that he actually loved me. I used to never know that I was loved.

And then I find this letter that he sent to me the Thanksgiving after my first child was born (with a packet of letters I had written to him over the years):

    Daughty-san

    I thought you’d like to see these letters, both for the sweetness in them and for the insight they give you into a young girl’s mind. I know that you were once one (and still, in many ways, are), but that’s primarily the past, and sooner than you can imagine or believe, your child will be older. If only you had dated them.

    One recurrent theme in all of the letters is your fear that I will tease you for showing your love… I guess my own fear of showing emotion and the consequent vulnerability is stronger than I realize… But then again, as I pointed out to you recently, if I were not secure in my love for you, and yours for me, I would not feel free to play with it – hence the salutation.

    Many years ago, you asked me if I had to do it over again would I have children. What a ballsy question that was from a young and, as you can see from these letters, insecure girl. Ballsy questions deserve honest answers, and then, at least, I did not tease you. I didn’t know, I told you, because I had never not had children. I was still a child when you kids were born. However, I pointed out, no one had ever offered me anything that I would have traded you in for. You were then and remain now, just about the best thing that ever happened to me – although now there is your child to give you competition.

    I may not be much for ritual, or tradition, or holidays, but you should know that, this being thanksgiving, you are what I give thanks for.

    Lots of love and thanks,
    Daddy-san

    a.k.a Grumpa, King Kong, and D. D. of the D. (Daring Dan of the Deep)

I am always amazed when I realize his love for me. I am always validated when he realizes he doesn’t often show it. He calls out my insecurity, and doesn’t get that his teasing probably helped that blossom and grow. It’s all very interesting.

I am thankful for these letters, and I’m thankful for this love. I hold it dear, especially now that it’s so tough for him and for us.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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What I’m giving Thanks for

It’s that time of year.

The time of year when all, or at least most, of us give thanks. We gather around tables with people we love (or sometimes, people we tolerate) and acknowledge all we have. And stuff ourselves.

I try to give thanks every day. Or nearly every day.

I’ve found that when I notice what I have, I feel better. When I call out what’s working, I feel better. When I appreciate the big and the little, I feel better.

Do you sense a theme?

Most days I list my good things in my “good year box” list on my phone. I counsel clients to write three things they’re grateful for each day, and what they did to contribute to those things. This highlights gratitude and self-efficacy, both of which strengthen our souls and minds. As often as I can, I stop and notice…and notice…and notice all the beauty and ease and light in my life and my day. And I feel better.

I am giving Thanks for so much.

For my family. For my older child home from the Midwest. For the amazing dinner my amazing husband has prepared. For the fact that I got to cook what I wanted to cook, and I got to opt out and put my feet up and rest when I didn’t want to cook. For my younger child who’s spent some quality time with me recently. For my friends and the multitude of people I care about. For the fact that I’ve found long-lost friends and made new friends.

For the fact that this time next year, my book will be out. Did I mention that I’ve signed with a publisher and my book will be out?

I have so much to be thankful for. I want to focus on it all.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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