"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another smack in the head

Ok, I admit it, I am having a hard time lately. Sometimes it takes me awhile to know that something is wrong until it comes and smacks me upside the head. It could be the season, but I know I am not an easy going mama. I wish I was, but I am not. I can be lost in my head and still walk around with that perfectionist thinking, obliviously, with high expectations for everything and everyone, but mostly myself. Sometimes I get little warning signs that these feelings are happening, like a mosquito buzzing around your ear that you can't see. But, it isn't until I am sucked bone dry when I realize I am starving for something.

I have a quote taped to my computer (so much for that idea--I'll have to tape it to my forehead). "Expectations are pre-planned resentments". I have no idea who said it and even Google couldn't tell me. Regardless, I have them--I wake up and I have a plan, I have lists--of what I want to accomplish, where I "need" to go or do, or what the kids should could be doing.  It is how I have always accomplished anything. But I have discovered something about this productivity-induced behavior of mine.  It clouds my judgment of what really should be the most important part of my everyday--relationships, connection, and more importantly--presence and peace. In fact, I think the lists end up being a distraction to try to find fulfillment, when fulfillment can be found simply by just stopping and slowing down.

When I begin to "race"--against whom or what I don't know--I expect my kids to keep up with me. I forget that productivity is no where in a child's vocabulary, BUT--happiness and connection are. They want to connect with me all day long, asking me to play with them and in their stories. When I am lost in my "to-do" I forget this, and I forget my own need for nurturing. It's wonderful how my children can love and nurture naturally, even knowing when I need it. In their eyes, I have no need to race or to accomplish anything.  It's as simple as getting down on the floor to play. They know exactly how to find happiness and they naturally will gravitate towards it if I just let them--if I just follow them instead of trying to lead all the time. One day they will learn their own definition of success, and I only hope that it won't be the same as mine.  I can't say I will ever stop the lists, they are just a part of how I do things. Perhaps I can just change the order in which I write my to-do's, with peace and presence always at the top.


  1. I hear ya. It has been a journey for me too - to take my action oriented Type A personality and let it loose a bit, and live in the moment. Getting better at it. Or getting better at keeping my mouth closed to I'm the only one hearing the crazy GO GO GO voice. Ha!

    I have read a similar quote:
    “Expectations are resentments under construction." -- Anne Lamott

  2. I feel as though you are extracting the thoughts right from my head sometimes. Only you are far more eloquent in your delivery. I too am a recovering "list person".
    It's HARD to rewire your brain when you are so accustomed to a specific behavior or thought. Maybe re reading or re watching "What the Bleep" might spark something. Right now, I'm having to allow myself to be sick, and to take the time I need to recover.
    because my own expectation is that I should be farther along in my soap making/baking/shopping, super moming... whatever, which is sort of a list.
    MJ, there are so many wonderful things about you. All of which are admirable, and can be seen through the eyes of your children (and of course your husband). It seems as though you are achieving all of the important things on the grandiose list of all lists.
    If you want, I can provide you with a list of all the beauty I've noticed in you. hehe.
    I love your blog and witnessing of the beauty you bring to parenting. You remind me to savor this time and not to let being an adult cause me to forget I was once a child.

    Lastly, I'm totally going to rip off your post it note. I love that quote.
    Love and Light

  3. Thanks for the quote Denise :) and thanks for stopping by!

    Ang, I love ya...

  4. MJ, I love your blog- I love that you're so honest & striving towards what you realize are your real priorities in life. I'm so excited for you in that you're making steps in following your dreams, especially with the way you're raising your children & your big move in the future! Go girl! You inspire me in many ways, thanks! I do hope to see you up in VA!!!
    Oh, and Merry Christmas!


“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw