So as we all know this year has been quite the doozy. I’ll be honest in saying that getting through this year has really been me telling myself to suck it up and keep moving. Like that point in a marathon when you have hit a wall – you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually you get to the end of the race. Or you collapse. Either way, the race is over!
I feel like we’ve sort of come to the pinnacle of the roller coaster ride. The house is so close to being done I can finally believe we’ll be back home soon. Dust is finally settling on our acquisition so we can begin to work through the necessary system changes and needs. And Dreamforce is almost upon us!
I’ve always been the type of person to jump in with both feet for everything I commit to. I’m excited and passionate about learning and doing and being. And typically that works well. My personal expectations are that I will get things done, and learn during that process.
This year my personal expectations and personal reality have taken two different directions. I think that is what has caused a lot of stress this year. I’m used to and expect myself to do certain things. But this year it has been harder and harder to meet those expectations. When you are accustomed to doing something, it is incredibly frustrating to not be able to reach that anymore. You question yourself and might even push yourself harder, but that doesn’t always work. In fact sometimes it backfires on you pushing you into an even deeper pit of frustration.
School starting really made it hit home that I needed to re-evaluate my personal expectations. Between work changes, trying to manage our rebuild, my outside commitments like the Nerdforce podcast, Apex and the Limits, my usual blogging and community involvement, and then add on getting the kids to/from 3 different schools (because they can’t figure out the bussing for us tornado folks), trying to be an involved parent and ensuring they get homework done and where they need to be, I finally hit the wall of my reality and have realized that the only way to stay healthy and emotionally get through it all, something has got to give.
And that something is really my own personal expectation of what I can and can’t do as well as what I should and should not be focusing energy on.
I’ve come to realize that just because my expectations don’t match reality, doesn’t mean I have to lower my expectations. Just that I need to make adjustments.
I need to give myself grace and acceptance and not make myself feel as if I’m failing at life.
I need to understand that my expectations were perfectly ok for this time last year. But that this year, circumstances and reality have changed, so I must change my expectations to more adequately align with that changing reality.
It’s hard for me to accept that I need to make adjustments. I’m my own worst critic when it comes to life and I tend to judge myself harshly.
By writing this all down and publishing it, I hope to serve as my own reminder that it is OK to not meet my own expectations. Recognizing the need and adjusting them is the healthy and right thing to do.
And as I reach the peak of the hill on this roller coaster, I hope that by adjusting my expectations and making a few tweaks, I can enjoy that rush downhill with my hands in the air and a smile on my face.
Have you evaluated your own expectations lately? Are they in line with your reality? Do you make regular changes or beat yourself up and pile on the internal pressure when they seem out of reach? What advice would you give?
I go through this about once every couple months, and usually in the face of a sink full of dishes or something so much more minor than my house being unexpectedly destroyed by a tornado and keeping a whole family healthy and happy. So honestly, you are already a hero, a rockstar, a fantastic person, and you should just go easy on yourself and remember that there are people out here who will remind you of that, should you need it.
As for expectations, I’ve tried really hard to stop that whole business and just accept what comes along in life. Easier said then done. I don’t have a magic formula for that. I’d be a lot richer if I did, I think.
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Aw thanks Sam! For me it’s the little things that topple me as well! Just so hard to not be hard on myself! If you do find that magic formula I want in on it!! 🙂
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Nana I have no idea how you do all the things that you do. I am truly the pot calling the kettle black right now ^_^ I love reading your musings. You are amazing!
I know how overwhelming and frustrating things can get, but all I can recommend to those facing these problems: it’s about time. I know you’re thinking, huh? What the heck is she talking about?
I do all of the things I do now because I changed how I perceived time. I watched this animated TedTalk called “The Secret Powers of Time”. I find myself watching it again whenever I need a dose of time perspective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3oIiH7BLmg
Somehow I spend time with my children, work full-time, co-lead a user group, participate in Salesforce community, sleep, read books, enjoy life and I still feel like I can do more. Am I crazy? Possibly, but it all boils down to how we perceive time.
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This is wonderful. Thank you for the reminder – I often get caught in the trap of “I did this just fine two years ago, why can’t I do it now?” You are such an inspiration!