Thursday, May 24, 2007

confession #7: I have unrealistic expectations

Last year, when things got desperate,
I had the privilege of meeting with a psychologist.
I recommend a good round of therapy to everyone.
My counselor was a gift God gave me during a dark time.
The first day we sat down, I was nervous.
I had insomnia. I was depressed. I was praying she had answers.
She asked me what filled my days
and what it was that made me feel overwhelmed.
We chatted for a while. And then she said this,
"What other than being a mom to a 5 year old, 3 year old, and
4 month old, a wife to Scott, trying to start a new church, taking
care of your family, not having time to write, not sleeping,
and surviving in the bay area financially, could be worrying you?"
We laughed.
"I think you are dealing with some very unrealistic expectations,"
she said.
And with those words...something shifted, something hard broke in me,
and I began to cry.
And she began to frame some realistic expectations for me.
A good night's sleep. A date, sans kids, with Scott.
An unkempt house but 3 happy boys. An hour a week to write.
She brought me down
from the high unhappy unreachable clouds of perfectionism
and showed me what my day could look like.
And the healing began. I'm still healing I think.
I still start my mornings with visions of grandeur.
Clean bathrooms. Mornings spent writing. My to-do-list complete.
Sometimes I despair. Vent. Yell at Legos that pierce my heels.
But I am trying to enjoy the small snatches of goodness in my day.
Chats on the phone with my sisters. A book read with Addie.
A flower planted. A moment to set in the yard and read a good mystery.
And in those almost feels perfect.


Leslie said...

Suebie - thank you for sharing that. Been struggling with some of those same issues this week. But the Lord is faithful.

susanna said...

Yes, He is. Even when we don't know where He is. :) love you, Les.

Barbie said...

Sue ~ love this! Thanks for sharing... it helped my heart!
Love you :)

julie said...

What an amazing lesson to learn, Suz. And to share here. I think we all suffer from unrealistic expectations at one time or another.

It is enlightening to see how different our lives look if we choose to focus on what is truly important, isn't it?

Thank you for sharing your struggles and your victories.

susanna said...

I'm so glad that we all relate. It is good to know that you guys also know the struggle between high expectation struggle and real living. Thanks for your encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Me too.

I've enjoyed reading your blog this morning when, I confess, I should have been doing a million other things. Your humor is enough to keep me coming back! Laughter helps me change my unrealistic expectations about being a new mom and being back at work full-time.