I expected the hard part of this pregnancy would be managing my diabetes. From the reading I’d done, I knew sugar levels can go haywire thanks to hormones and increased insulin requirements during pregnancy. I’ve been working hard to stay on top it, and doing well. It made me a bit smug, I felt if I could keep my blood sugars where I wanted, I had the power to trick this pregnancy into being comfortable.
I’ve been blindsided by other complications and discomforts, thus violating my expectation that I had things under control. Cue psychic misery in addition to the physical.
Yesterday, Nora had her first spelling test ever. She told me she expected to do well. She ended up with the second worst score in the class and a meltdown ensued. “I feel like I’m not showing what a good writer I am!” When she didn’t meet her own expectations, she took a spiritual nose dive.
Our brains, always trying to make sense of things, make predictions based on past experience. Maybe this would work out alright, if it wasn’t for all the feelings that come attached to expectations — or more accurately the violations of those expectations.
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from my surface-scratching exploration of Buddhism is the idea that we need to let go of expectations as much as we can — if we want to prevent our own unnecessary suffering.
It can be subtle, what this does and does not mean. And I’m still learning.
It doesn’t mean that we give up on settings standards of behavior for ourselves and our children; it does mean that we stop trying to second guess outcomes.
Yesterday, Ben brought me a dozen roses. I wasn’t expecting it. And it was beautiful.
If I start expecting that every Friday, I’m bound to be disappointed.
This week I’m doing the #YourTurnChallenge. One blog post a day for seven days. Today is Day 6.