I often find myself feeling discouraged when I fail to meet a goal that I have set for myself. Part of accepting my limitations has meant lowering my expectations. This didn’t come about from a lack of self esteem or self worth. Instead it is because I realized that I needed to find ways to stop setting myself up for failure. It’s not that I don’t think I can learn from my failures either…. but expecting my body to do more than it was capable of had gotten ridiculous. One expectation I had to let go of was being capable of walking into a store for a few items and thinking I could handle waiting in the check out line. My body can’t take it. But it wasn’t just my body that suffered….my mind did as well. Each attempt left me depressed and discouraged. I decided that letting go of this expectation was in everyone’s best interest. Personally I was able to find satisfaction in the fact that with my wheelchair I was able to accomplish what needed to be done without adding to my pain. Better for my family because my mood doesn’t crash and none of us have to endure unnecessary periods of my being completely out of commission. While they have no idea, this is also a major perk for cashiers and those who bag my groceries. Instead of my being on the verge of, if not already in tears, and having little to no patience, I am friendly, happy, and able to partake in a little banter.
Because I’m a planner and a goal oriented person I still set goals and expectations for myself. But I try to keep them realistic. I still fail more often than I’d like, but have been able to find humor in some of these situations as well as learn to adjust them so that I don’t feel like a complete failure. One of my mini goals had my husband and I bursting with laughter. While I own more lounge wear than regular clothing, I don’t like spending my days in my pajamas. I prefer to spend my daytime hours clothed, this includes days spent in bed. My only exception are days when I am unable to lift my head from my pillow or am unable to stay awake. When I first set this goal, I quickly realized that expecting myself to stay in the same outfit from the time I awoke to the time I went to bed was not realistic. So I made an adjustment. My goal was to stay clothed until sundown. At first this was easy. Of course I started this in November when the sun goes down during the 4 o’clock hour in southern California. Now that spring is here I am struggling to keep my clothes on past sunset. Two days ago my husband came home from work to find me in my pj’s. I assumed that he would think I hadn’t attempted to get dressed, even though I had spent most of my day clothed. The next day I held out until he arrived home. We giggled as I frantically tore off my clothing and laughed even harder as I let out a sigh of joy and relief as I slipped into my pj’s. Thankfully my husband loves me no matter what I’m wearing. What I need to do is to get past worrying about what others think of me when I answer the door in my pajamas. In the meantime I will just adjust my silly goal and try to accept the amount of hours I can tolerate being dressed.
What are some expectations that you have had to eliminate or adjust?
Until next time,