Hello and welcome to my first blog for 2019!
I hope you have had a positive start to the year and have settled back into the school/work routine with relative ease.
I enjoyed a wonderful break over Christmas/New Year with my family, enjoying long lazy mornings watching movies, as well as many days spent at the pool and evening picnics by the river.
I don’t know about you but I like to take time at the beginning of each year to think, dream and plan for all that is ahead.
However, something unusual happened at the beginning of this year… I actually couldn’t think!
With great intentions and expectations I would start my day ready to achieve great things. Social media was full of amazing posts from amazing people telling me what I should be doing to set my year up for complete success.
So here I was, trying to be focused & determined to set my year up well. 2018 had been a great big mixed bag of highs & lows and to be honest I was so happy to close the door on all that happened in 2018.
As the New Year began I felt confident for all that was ahead and had great expectations.
But when I tried to think – I couldn’t think!
My brain was like a big bag of mush – it just didn’t want to think. I thought it was perhaps because I was still in holiday mode at home?
I started back at work yet, still I couldn’t think. I had no energy & no desire to think past the next few hours. I am not even sure what I did in the first couple of weeks back – it clearly wasn’t very productive!
I was beginning to get a bit frustrated with myself at my lack of brain space.
Don’t get me wrong – I was able to function ok, although there were even some nights when even deciding what to cook for dinner was even too much to ask of me…praise the Lord for fish n chips down by the river I say!
It wasn’t until the 3rd week of January that I realised my great New Year expectations were actually unrealistic expectations.
You see, I discovered the reason I couldn’t think was because I was actually …wait for it…tired!!
What? Me tired? Surely not!
Yes it was hot and I don’t think too many people in our town would disagree that the heat was certainly taking its toll, but it was more than a physical tired; it was a mental & emotional tiredness that was a result of running hard with unrealistic expectations for far too long.
My pattern in life has always been to push through and get the job done no matter the cost or toll it took on me. Perhaps I had experienced this before and ignored it only to push myself through it… but this time I couldn’t.
So I did something so foreign to me – I changed the great expectation I had placed on myself.
(I can be a slow learner – I am sure many of you reading this have already learned this lesson)
At the same time I was reading a book that was causing light bulb moments in me with every page I read. I realised much of the way I had lived for the last 15-20 years was out of learned behaviours – unhealthy learned behaviours.
Once I changed my expectations I found my energy began to return. Instead of feeling frustrated at myself, I gave myself permission to rest my body and my mind and not think too much and guess what happened…within a couple of weeks my mind began to work again. Clarity has returned, ideas are returning, plans are being made, dreams are being dreamed and I have energy to think about all of it.
I truly believe that expectation is a good thing – when it is healthy, reasonable, and achievable.
It is the unrealistic expectations we place either on ourselves or on others that can be so damaging.
I think it is wonderful to have big crazy dreams and goals, but the way we go about achieiving them and our expectations need to be realistc. This blog is certainly not about smalling down your dreams or desires, it is however about making sure the expectations we place on ourselves along the journey are healthy.
So as 2019 has well and truly kicked into gear and I step forward with enthusiasm and anticipation of all that a New Year has to offer, I am choosing to do it with healthy and reasonable expectations. I am not looking at what everyone is supposedly doing (hello – social media), I am not getting caught in the comparison trap – I am simply placing healthy expectations on myself and on those around me.
Changing my expectations doesn’t mean I am becoming blasé, lazy or taking on a “whatever” attitude or settling for less than my best – no it simply means that I will continue to give all that I can to whatever I put my hand to with reasonable and achievable expectations that bring joy and life to me and those around me…first and foremost my family.
So, for you who are reading this today, take a moment to reflect and think about these questions.
What are your great expectations?
Are these expectations far beyond reasonable? If so, what do you need to change?
Are the expectations you have on others completely unreasonable? Ask those in your world you trust to speak truth in love for their perspective. I asked my husband and he told me the truth I needed to hear and encouraged me to make healthy changes.
Are your expectations below reasonable? This can be the case when our hearts have been broken or when disappointment has made a home in our hearts – this is a great opportunity for you to go on a healing journey to bring peace to those areas of your life that need restoring. If this is the case, I hope you can settle those areas in your life and start to function and thrive in life with healthy expectations
Whatever your expectations are and wherever you are along the journey of life, can I encourage you to set healthy, life giving and realistic expectations…and what you will find once you do that – the outcomes will be GREAT!
I would love to hear from you, so feel free to leave a comment or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
My next blog will be a 3 part series titled: Live Life Well, so keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks.
Till then, have a beautiful day full of healthy & life giving expectations!
Love Natt xx
PS – The book I mentioned that I had read was called – The Golden Thread by Darlene Zschech.
I highly recommend everyone read it!