Today I’m switching gears a little bit from my normal baby chat and Austin updates to tackle a big behemoth of a topic that I’ve been rolling around for a long time now.
Things have been pretty good around here; renovations at our new house are well underway and Matt and I are going through everything we own and trying to purge as much as we can leading up to our big move on August 25th. Austin has been doing more and more each day, and is just so much fun to hang out with, and we’re getting ready for a road trip up to Sault Ste. Marie next weekend to take Austin to meet my mom’s side of the family and spend some time with his Great Grandma!
With all of this wonderful stuff going on, I’ve also been fighting a constant battle against the fear, anxiety and sadness over the state of my body and the long term prognosis for a full recovery from our birth. I met with a specialist this past week who had an incredibly bleak prognosis for me, and basically told me that he would bet that I would have issues for life as a result of our birth experience. It’s been tough. Extremely tough.
Today I wanted to talk a bit about the underlying issues that I’m starting to see at play here. And that is the concept of expectations vs. reality.
Expectation is a nasty little bitch responsible for so, so much unhappiness in this world, don’t you think? How many hundreds of thousands of times have bad things happened because someone is pissed off, or sad, or disappointed or upset that something didn’t go the way that they expected it to go? It seems that we (in general, I totally see exceptions to this rule even within my own circle of family and friends) just aren’t as receptive to adjusting our expectations (or better yet, dropping expectations completely) as we should be to maximize our own happiness. I’m culprit number one for this.
I’ve been struggling so much looking at the long term prognosis for the rest of my life, because there’s a good possibility that it won’t be quite what I had expected. For some naive reason, I expected to be in perfect health for my entire life. I expected to be the super mom who ran marathons, did tuck jumps that awed and inspired her kids, all the while baking the best chocolate chip cookies on earth, being present for every activity they have, and being the best wife on earth. Now that something has happened to me that is threatening many aspects of this, I’m having a really hard time adjusting to the new reality of what could be.
So, just throwing it out there. What if we all worked to drop the expectations completely. Completely.
Instead of expecting things to go a certain way, and then being devastated when things don’t turn out quite that way, what if we worked together to have goals and dreams and aspirations, but agreed to surrender to what is, instead of what could have been.
I wish every day that things had gone differently with our birth. I’ve cried a million tears or more over it. I’ve lavished more self-hate on myself in the past 10 months then you can begin to imagine; hating my body for how badly it failed us that day.
But the fact of the matter is: I can’t change how things went down that day. I just can’t. What’s happened has happened, and there isn’t anything I can do to change that.
And so I’m trying a new approach. And that is to surrender. Surrender to the past, because nothing can be changed back there. Surrender to my expectations for the future, and letting go of what I think should be, and being okay with what is.
I may not be in perfect health for the rest of my days as I expected to be. My body may not work 100% as I hoped it would, and I may deal with issues earlier in life then I had initially thought I would. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t live a wonderful, happy, rich and fulfilled life.
And so, I surrender. I surrender to what is in the past, and I surrender all expectations and what I naively thought I was owed for the future. And oddly enough, surrender feels like the greatest victory I’ve had so far.