The Word Weaver
Inviting you to know & embrace Jesus Christ
Deb Weaver
"Letting Go: My Endless Expectations" & Book Giveaway
by The Word Weaver, Deb on June 5th, 2015

"Letting Go: My Endless Expectations"

​I recently read an article about setting realistic goals for your day--listing three projects and being happy when you accomplish them. 

Yeah, yeah, it was a good article.  I’ve heard it before.  Hubby has harped on the subject a few times in our nearly thirty years of marriage. 

I’m used to pushing myself over my limit until an event is over and then crashing, completely out of gas.  It takes a lot more fuel and several more weeks to recover from this technique.  At different times, I’ve cursed, excused, or embraced my racing ways.

I’m beginning to see an unhealthy pattern about it.  Occasional huge projects are one thing.  Daily approaching life this way is quite another.

And I’ve discovered that I ALWAYS want to accomplish a lot more than three! Way more than six or seven or even ten.  Try fifteen!  Oh, and twenty-five would be downright amazing!

Obviously on the To-Do-List Meter, more is better!  And when you secretly believe that you are Wonder Woman, more is not just better; it’s essential.  

But, as Hubby and I were re-re-re-discussing recently, these extreme expectations also lead to extreme exhaustion.  Like the flat-out-ready-for-bed-at-6:30 p.m.-but-trying-to-hold-off-till-a-slightly-more-respectable-7:30 p.m.-and-still-barely-making-it kind of exhaustion. 

Debilitating. Consuming.  Nearing age fifty-two, and dead night after night.  Not good, I admit.

So I made a new list for today.  It had three things written on it. 

At first. 

But, at breakfast, I added another three.   Hey, stop glaring!  Baby steps!  Baby steps!

Besides, I really want to get stuff done!  And I did promise Hubby that if I got the first three done in the afternoon, I would call it a day. 

(In the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess that I may or, ahem, may not have crossed my fingers behind my back during this promise.

Stay with me . . .I am getting to a point, I promise.)


By four o'clock this afternoon, I'd accomplished the three most pressing and time-consuming items on my list.  And I was tired.

Again. 

Still. 

Whatever.

So I did something radical.  I mean, really amazing.  Something practically earth-shattering.

I gave myself a break. 

Now, I know it doesn’t sound incredible, but it truly was.  Normally, I’d just keep plowing through the lengthy list.  And if I had miraculously finished it, I’d think, “Poor planning” and then add two more

(Okay, okay, you’re right—six more)

things to it.  After all, if I’d completed the list, I couldand SHOULD—do more.  Crack that whip!

I’d put off simple pleasures, offering myself empty—and inevitably broken—promises:  “When you finish, you can sit and start that book.”   “Oh, a bike ride sounds wonderful!  Maybe later if you have time!”  “If you finish this task, you can do whatever you want.”

In actuality, “finishing” is a dangerous mirage because there’s always something, be it big or little, to be added.  And I wouldn’t celebrate because the job wasn’t complete. 

Nothing like sucking all the fun out of life!  Perhaps I’m a combination superhero/slave-driver/evil stepmother with a Cinderella complex.  Whatever it is, it’s unhealthy and has to change!

So, slowly, I am learning to let go of my unrealistic, unhealthy expectations of myself. 

Letting go of anything is a process that takes lots of time and lots of steps.  My friend, author and speaker Christin Ditchfield, gets that.  In her excellent book, What Women Should Know about Letting It Go, she shares encouraging, life-tested strategies for helping us navigate this process.  Having struggled with some of the same issues, she is an understanding, wise, supportive cheerleader.  In fact, I can picture the celebratory smile on her face as she reads about my baby steps of freedom.  
​This is what “giving myself a break” looked like yesterday:
  • I acknowledged what I had completed.  Despite the fact that I could have done more, I relished the feeling of accomplishment.
  • I climbed on my bike and spun around the neighborhood with my hair blowing every which way in the breeze and my smile competing with the bright sunshine.  Oh, the joy!  I was eight years old again and experiencing the sheer exhilaration of riding freely once school dismissed.   
  • Then I scooped a bowl of chocolate ice cream and sunk with it into a hot bubble bath—guilt-free and in the middle of the day!  The steam mingled with my sighs of contentment.
  • Afterward, I snuggled up with a delightful, charming book entitled The Tale of Despereaux.  My soul stretched out and wiggled its toes as I breathed satisfaction.  

I’m learning:  I am beloved and valuable.  It’s crucial to refuel frequently and savor moments.  I am more than what I do or don’t get done. 

Giving myself a break looks a lot like God’s grace.  It is beautiful and filling. Sometimes I just need the reminder. 

Perhaps you do, too?

 
​BOOK GIVEAWAY:  Submit a comment on this blog post and be entered into a drawing for one of two books:  Christin Ditchfield’s Letting It Go or Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of DespereauxEntries close and a winner will be chosen at noon (CDT), Friday, June 12, 2015

Join me next week for another look at Letting It Go--Shame and another book giveaway!

For a challenge to a deeper life, please also check out Christin’s website or Facebook page 
##
Copyright 2015 The Word Weaver, Deb Weaver


Posted in Let's Talk About Books!, A Work in Progress    Tagged with Letting Go, Expectations, Superpowers, God's Grace, Contentment, Freedom, Book Review


18 Comments

Becky - June 5th, 2015 at 9:31 AM
Thanks, Deb, for sharing! What a beautiful picture you painted in our minds of resting in the Lord! What a joy for Him to see you trusting Him. Thank you!
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 5th, 2015 at 10:01 AM
Thank you, Becky! I appreciate your sweet comment and look forward to getting to know you more.

*You're entered into the drawing for a book! Yay!
Abby Breuklander - June 5th, 2015 at 7:32 PM
Thanks for sharing, I really needed this!! I'm the same way, it's pretty bad when I need to force myself to have some me time!
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 6th, 2015 at 11:43 AM
We know better, yet we still do it! Sigh. Baby steps, baby steps! We'll get there!!! Thanks for reading and commenting.

*You're entered into the drawing for a book! Yay!
Mary Anne - June 6th, 2015 at 9:15 AM
Wow, this SO resonated with me Deb! I have been running myself ragged, between taking care of a parent, yard work in both yards, trying to find time for my artwork etc. etc. etc.....and I really needed to "hear" this today! Thank you so much for that and for sharing in such a genuine way. We do tend to cheat ourselves out of leading that authentic life, that we so want to live! I think, as women, this is so ingrained....and it really does take a conscious effort to change. (What do they say, 28 days to change a habit?). I am going to work on this too and definitely checking out your friend's website!

The Word Weaver, Deb - June 6th, 2015 at 11:46 AM
Mary Anne, HUGS, girl! May we take those conscious steps--over and over, until we are living that abundant life. It's funny because I will want this so much for friends but neglect myself. We'll work on it together!

*You're entered into the drawing for a book! Yay!
Nicole D - June 6th, 2015 at 9:53 PM
This sounds like a good book and thought process for the summer and beyond. Thanks for sharing!
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 7th, 2015 at 10:17 AM
It is! I so appreciate how Christin not only shares personally but also substantiates the ideas with Scripture.

*You're entered into the drawing for the book! Yay!
Leslie Korte - June 7th, 2015 at 5:36 PM
Great Deb! By letting go it gives you the extra oomph if something unexpected arises also. ;) ox
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 8th, 2015 at 1:12 PM
That's so true, Leslie! Thanks for reading and commenting!

*You're entered into the drawing for a book! Yay!

The Word Weaver, Deb - June 12th, 2015 at 11:16 AM
Congratulations, Leslie! Your name was selected for Letting It Go! It's an incredibly wise, helpful book. I'll send you a message and make sure I have your correct address.
Barbara Lowry - June 10th, 2015 at 6:22 PM
Words for the wise woman! Thanks
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 10th, 2015 at 6:51 PM
Thanks, Barbara! I usually get my wisdom the hard, old-fashioned way--one step forward and two steps backward! Thanks for commenting!

*You're entered into the drawing for a book! Yay!
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 12th, 2015 at 11:12 AM
Barbara,
You have won the giveaway for The Tale of Despereaux! I'll contact you by email for your mailing address and then order the book from Amazon later today. Congrats!
Sue Tell - June 10th, 2015 at 10:07 PM
You have a delightful way of painting pictures with words. And I love that you're not afraid to let your humanity out of hiding. It makes me smile and take a deep breath.
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 11th, 2015 at 9:10 AM
What a lovely phrase--letting humanity out of hiding! Thank you. We'll take a deep breath together!

*You're entered into the drawing for a book! Yay!
Lauren H - June 11th, 2015 at 5:29 PM
This post is just what I needed today. I also struggle with putting unrealistic expectations on myself and it has become such an exhausting cycle of stress and exhaustion. I'm trying to learn to give myself the same grace and understanding I give others, but it's not easy to let go of my everything-needs-to-be-perfect" mentality. Thanks for the encouragement! "I am more than I do or don't get done." Repeating that truth to myself and taking the rest of the evening off. :)
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 11th, 2015 at 8:03 PM
Lauren,
Thanks for sharing the struggle. It's real, isn't it?! We'll repeat it together, day by day! Good for you for taking the evening off!

*You're entered into the book giveaway! Yay!
Leave a Comment