Thursday, November 03, 2005

High Expectations

For some reason, I have some pretty weird expectations for myself. I was one of the first of my friends to take the dive into marriage. I was one of the forerunners, and for some reasons I expect myself to accomplish the milestones first. Which I can say the only one I have accomplished first is getting married.
Milestone 1 (of couse in no particular order): Having children. Don't get me wrong I do have children. I have 2 beautiful kids. But my friends who got married after me, had baby number one before me, and most of them number 2, and some working on 3. I don't know why it bothers me, because I'm happy with the amount of time we waited before having kids and the space between the two, but for some reason I still expect to be in "first place". I know, I'm pretty self-centered.
Milestone 2: Buying a house. Yes we still rent after 5 years of marriage! (I'm a little ashamed to say) A lot of our married friends own a house, which makes me jealous. Which yet again I don't know. In ways I'm glad we don't, because that means we aren't committed to Utah, which deep down I know we are for at least a few more years. If we don't own a house, we could technically pick up and move any time, which for some reason gives me hope.
Well that is all I can think of for the time being, which I guess is a good thing, so I don't feel too sorry for myself for rediculous reasons.


Anonymous said...

Hey sounds like your having one of your better days. -Troy Nelson

Anonymous said...

You can never compare yourself to others. I am willing to bet that all of your friends whom you feel "behind" would tell you that they would have waited for kids (or in between kids) when they look back at it.
Just enjoy the time that you have with each kid, and all that you can do with each kid at this time in their lives.
Everyone's milestones are different. Everyone is on a different timeline. What matters most to you - keeping up with the Smith's or living every minute to the fullest as you are doing now?

Stephanie said...

You'll get there.

And let me tell you, now that we HAVE bought a house here in Utah, I am terrified. I am happy to have a house, but it means we're really staying.

Marie said...

My milestones may not be identical to yours, but I seem to struggle with the same thoughts and issues as you do. I have even had professional advice help me to work this out, which of course requires a continuous effort on a daily basis. I feel confident enough to tell you that you are not self-centered, you are not trying to be better than others, and you are not looking for a competitive sport. Here is what I’ve come to: We are both perfectionists, and tell ourselves we need to be the best. We struggle to be #1, not to show or prove anything to anyone else, but more because we feel that if we are not #1, we are failures, which is just not accurate! We are extremely hard on ourselves, too hard on ourselves. I think we feel that if we’re not the best, it must have meant that we did not try hard enough, that we did not give as much effort as we should have. Trying our hardest or doing are best isn’t enough if it doesn’t get us in first place. We could be like this for many different reasons and from many different influences. I won’t focus too much on this part, because this isn’t an aspect that helps improve us, but more of an understanding or explanation as to what may have influenced me to have this characteristic in my personality. I think I was affected by my dad’s constant high expectations, his lack of satisfaction in anything I ever accomplished, his deficiency in encouragement and positive reinforcement, and his mannerisms that always made me feel that I was never good enough for him. I’m not saying that I’m assuming your dad was the same way, but again, this is where my difficulties have stemmed from, so maybe it will help you find how yours were established. The goal is to learn to believe that we don’t have to be the best at everything to create our self worth. It’s okay if we don’t come out at the very top. This does not mean we have failed. We don’t have to be great at everything we do. We need to look at the things which we HAVE accomplished, in a healthy way. We need to change our milestones to different accomplishments, ones that aren’t necessarily easy to document and put a check in the box when completed. This is where it may be hard to explain, and for each of us it may be completely different. I’ll share some examples of myself. Within my weak areas, I have to try to stay away from things that instigate or trigger my struggles. Take for example, my fight with my insecurities about my looks, my weight, my physical body and attributes… things that others may see as superficial or shallow, but to me it’s much more than that (unfortunately). This is how hard this is for me… I literally was “told” to avoid the “People” or “US Weekly” magazines, the “Entertainment Tonight and “Extra” shows that center everything about those famous, skinny, beautiful, perfect people (I used to read and watch on a daily basis). So I decided to stay away from my old daily rituals, and believe it or not, it has made a difference. I’m sorry for those reading this if you can’t quite understand (If comments are available for all to read??), but this is a real issue that I struggle with. On another note, I also struggle with "me-time". Apparently, I have spent most of my life taking care of others. I am so concerned about other's happiness, that I forfeit my own happiness for them. I allow others to control my happiness in the sense that if one person around me isn't completely happy, I am automatically upset myself for them. When in all reality, I need to be the one to control my happiness. Things going good or bad for others shouldn't completely dictate how things are going for me. I know people's moods around me will affect mine to an extent, but I need to try to separate myself from their problems. It is like I take on their problems for them in an effort to release them from their unhappiness - again, making sure everyone around me is cared for and forgetting to care for myself. So I'm working on try to do things that I enjoy, hobbies that are just mine, and focusing on my feelings for a change. I still struggle with feeling self-centered by doing this, but in all reality it's normal. I can get so extreme about caring for others, that just thinking about myself for a bit would never even get me close to that boundary line of considering myself as self-centered. Sometimes it's hard to tell myself that, but at least I am trying. I was recommended to get a book called “The Feeling Good Handbook” by David Burns. It’s similar to a journal – but in a worksheet form, where questions are asked and your “answers” or thoughts are written down so they can be reflected on in the future. I am not “recovered”, believe me. Like I mentioned before, it’s something I have to consciously focus on every day. I've written enough to pretty much start my own blog. The purpose was not to talk about me, more for telling my story in the event that you can relate. I apologize if I have offended you or anyone for that matter, for being so straightforward or talked about things that some may not be interested in. But I admire your own willingness to be open and wanted to return the same. I hope that this indeed is the same direction as I interpreted it to be, in the hopes that it just might help you improve yourself and get you to a place where you can be happy about everything about yourself. Strive to minimize that perfectionist trait that I think you may carry. Try not to be so hard on yourself. Leave room for mistakes, self-forgiveness, and not the regrets or questioning of yourself. Respond if you feel the desire, or let me know if I’m not heading in the right direction with your writings in your “High Expectations.”