The other evening I was thinking how I really don't get too personal on the blog much anymore. It's hasn't been all that intentional, it's just sort of slowly progressed to that place. That place of a little distance, a little vagueness. Maybe a little uncertain because a lot more people read this blog every day than I ever imagined would. People come here to check what our urban family is up to. What my kids are doing. What I am doing. What we are making. What we are planting. What we are watching, eating, and reading. And I thank each and every person who stops here. Last month alone there were over 4,000 different visitors who came to this blog. 4,000 different people!
You know when you land on a flight and the flight attendant thanks you over the loud speaker for choosing their airline because they recognize there's a lot of airlines you could've picked? That's what I want to say, thank you, there's a lot of blogs out there. I never really had many expectations for this little blog, but whatever they were, they've been exceeded. Expectations are a funny thing aren't they. They could be the best of things and the worst of things.
How so? I wish I could articulate this as well as my friend Jane does. She often gives me little pep talks. We give each other a lot of pep talks actually. They usually come in the form of texts late at night, or at random times when someone is in need of one. In line at the grocery store about to pay? Hold on a minute! I need to reply, this is important! She explains really well how expectations of others often lead to our own disappointments in life. Reality is when our expectations are not met, you take those expectations in others, subtract the disappointments, and there, that's reality.
See? I told you she could probably explain it better than me. But I am hoping you get the gist. I have learned to live my life with as few disappointments as possible. It isn't because I expect nothing from others, no way! That'd be sad and pathetic and be giving up on the human race. I have learned, and let me tell you, still learning, almost 33 years in and I can still do better. I have learned to expect from others what they are capable of. Years ago I had expectations of my friends, family, people I knew and loved, I expected that they would reciprocate in equal amounts whatever energy, time, thought, whatever it may be, that I put into the relationship. I expected this give and take in the relationship. That is not reality. What some are capable of doing, others are not. What some are capable of feeling, others are not.
This realization was a big turning point for me as an adult. I no longer took personally the actions or feelings of others. Just because I work really hard to be a supportive person and someone who cheers people on from the sidelines, who am I to expect that of everyone else? Who says that that is reality? Instead I have embraced that we all are very different. We all may not be able to be happy for someone else. We all may not be able to watch and feel joy when something good happens to someone else. And this. This right here helped me no longer feel disappointment in the same scale I once did.
I don't give it much thought to be honest. But recently Aaron has brought up this "unaffectedness" as he likes to call it. Here's the usual scenario. He's affected by something, looks over at me on the couch as I fold laundry or read or watch TV and he gets mildly irritated at my unaffectedness. I really hope that's a word because I'm using it quite a bit.
So it got me thinking. I don't get my feelings hurt often, not because I don't have feelings, but I really don't think people willingly hurt one another all that often. So if the intention is not there to hurt, why would I let it hurt me?
This brings us to the reality of people wanting to get back what they've invested in a relationship. Well, again I come back to the capacity of people. Maybe their "all" is what I'm seeing. Maybe their heart and soul is on my kitchen table. Who am I to say it isn't enough? Sure it'd be nice to feel supported by all the people I love. But do I really need all that? Is that realistic? One thing huge that marriage has taught me is we are all who we are because of what we experience in life. Who raised us. Where we lived. What we saw. The hurt we carry. The love we hold. We are molded by our past. Maybe some people carry more than others. Maybe some people never saw what support is. Maybe some people don't know how to be any other friend than the one they are. This reality, this expectation, is one that I live with. And it doesn't steal my smiles. It doesn't lessen the joy I feel. It doesn't take away the goodness around me. It doesn't disappointment me.
How's that for getting more personal on this little 'ol blog of mine? Ha!
This space will be a little quiet over here for a week or so. Gunnar graduated elementary school and now we are taking our family on a little adventure, but when we return I'll have lots to share. If you'd like to follow us on our adventure you can find us on Instagram, my username is @mylifeatplaytime.