Friday, September 19, 2008

Conception of Perception

And as I gear up for my weekend of fun, I have to remind myself to keep my expectations at bay. When you have high anxiety, something that causes a lot of it is high expectations. I never used to think I had high expectations. I actually regarded myself as someone with very low expectations. I didn’t think very much of myself, my accomplishments always paled in comparison to those around me and I didn’t expect much from myself. But quite the opposite is true about me. I tend to be a tough critic. And my type-A personality demands that I be in control in almost every situation. What I thought was just a mean streak turned out to be high expectations. Who knew? So when I’m mentally setting up all of these high expectations I EXPECT them to happen. When they don’t, because A) people and things rarely go the way you’d like them to (or plan them to) and B) Who am I to judge anyone anyway, I get let down and the anxiety comes flooding in. So I’m in a constant state of managing my expectations. So while I know this weekend will be fun, I am not expecting some life-altering, mind numbing experience to happen. I want to appreciate the moment and enjoy whatever I find myself doing. I am trying to loosen my grip on my life little by little and let a little more spontaneity in. It’s scary. I was never a “go with the flow” kind of chick, but with a little work I may come closer than I’ve ever been before.

It’s funny how people talk about expectations as always being a great thing. And while they usually are, the small print reads that expectations are good when not sky high. Always expecting life to be fair, people to work hard, friends to care and good things happen to good people is just not realistic. And what’s even more ridiculous is that I climb on my high horse and get immediately agitated at the situation. I spend a lot of my time concerning myself with what “should” be, rather than what is. And instead of accepting things, I fight against it. I fight against what I have no control over based on my expectations of how I think a situation should turn out. So this weekend is about fun and relaxing - with some cake and champagne thrown in - and if our cake is moldy or I spill champagne on myself, it’s ok. It’s all ok because these small instances don’t make-or-break my day. What does make-or-break my day, however, is how I choose to react to these unexpected situations.

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