Today’s post will be a bit different than the usual ones. I won’t share any tips, any deep thoughts. But I will complain a bit instead. It is going to be kind of weird, as the only thing I can complain about is myself. So let me introduce the story.
As probably most of the world does, you might be forced to self isolate yourself. This is our reality, we are trying to fight the pandemic which flooded the entire world in just couple of months. It might have sounded amazing on the beginning (I mean staying at home, not pandemic itself). You know, this time you are going to spend with your family, this projects you’ve never had time before to work on or just simple sitting on the couch and watching tv. Now you were about to take some time off or start working from home and who said you can’t watch tv while working?
Everything sounds perfect (except all the bad things happening outside, especially growing numbers of new cases and people who actually didn’t make it, but this is a different topic). But after some time, you might have realised, that nothing changed. You got this extra hours (even if you are still working from home, you don’t waste any time for commuting), but nothing changed at all. There is still no time to start this project, watching tv isn’t as relaxing as it sounded before and you might have even started to miss your work place.
If you have been reading my posts for a while, you might have noticed that I have never enough time. That my to do list is getting bigger and bigger, just because I keep adding to it without getting anything or just a bit done. I am getting too tired to do anything after working a night shift. I am trying to spend as much time with my son as I possibly can. But still my other things are being left behind.
My company used to be closed for over six weeks. I had tons of spare time. But my to do list have reached a world record for the biggest amount of task on it. I just couldn’t set myself to work.
Today I’ve started wondering, what’s happened? What am I doing with all this time given to me for free? And finally, why do I feel so tired, when I do almost nothing?
And I came to some conclusions. Or more likely I can see some possible options. But the most likely one is I can’t force myself to do anything, if I don’t have any expectations set upon me.
Normally, we live in a world where there are expectations regarding all aspects of our life you could possibly think of. What kind of worker you are, how does your household look like, what kind of a husband/wife, child, parent you are? These are just some of the aspects and no matter what you do, there will be someone who will try to prove that you are doing it wrong.
There are also different kind of expectations, which are even harder to live with. The ones which you set yourself. These are more harder, as every time if you’ll do “not well enough”, you’ll not have to wait for anyone to point it. This person will be already there. Just because it will be this part of you, which is never happy with your work. This voice in your head saying that you should have spent more time and your results would be much, much better.
So let me talk about these last expectations for a while. Before my son was born, I planned to keep my home spotless, so he can grow in the best environment I can provide for him at the time. And although my home is never a complete mess, it isn’t spotless either. There are the days, where there is sink full of pilling up dishes, clothes to wash already doubling size of my washing basket. There are a days, when I can’t get myself to iron (you would probably get scared after visiting spare room in my home). Or when the trash bin is asking me to take it out.
The image of me having a baby made me feel like I have to find a good night shift job, so we can provide for our son’s decent life. I was sure I will manage it easily. I was sure I will be a bit tired, but will manage it till my son will go to the school or till I will manage to figure out getting some kind of business going on from my home (which I haven’t even started to think about so far). I was sure and I was wrong at the same time.
Although it was obvious, I haven’t realised that as my son will be born, things won’t change for better. Of course, my son is the best person coming to my life, but he is also the most demanding one. Since he was born, I forgot what does spare time mean. I have no idea what detailed planning is, as the best I am able to do now is to have plans like: “during his nap time, I will…” or “while he plays with his toys, I will…” There isn’t any particular time. All my life has been sacrificed for this little human being (well, sacrificed isn’t the best word, but he became my reason to do everything I am doing, no matter how hard it gets). But this is not the problem itself. As I said, my son is the brightest sunshine in my life, I wouldn’t change this for anything else. There is only one problem. Expectations. Expectations set by other people, which I can always ignore (although, not always I can manage it quickly). Expectations set by my son, regarding our routine (which I am glad to have). And finally, the hardest ones, expectations set by myself.
Since I have realised that, I’ve decided to stop expect anything from myself. I can’t do anything about other people’s expectations, but I can stop myself from doing it. I will still make my plans and to do lists, but I’m going to look at them like they were some kind of guide, not my duty.
There will be sink full of dishes left overnight? That’s fine. Never ending pile of ironing? Amazing! Well, not so amazing, as eventually I will have to do them, but still ok. But what is more important, I will not let to define myself by the amount of chores I am doing each day or amount of tasks I am getting ticked out of my to do list. How is it going to go? I will definitely share it with you after some time, as I see any change (either for better or for worse).
But for now I am going to end this post. I hope you enjoyed reading it and if you have any thoughts or advises regarding expectations, you are very welcome to share them in the comment section. For now, I wish you a very productive day (without any expectations, though) and I’ll see you in my next post.