A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lower Your Expectations

Beautiful afternoon here in Northern Illinois. Blue skies with those big puffy white powder puff clouds. A white landscape, not marred by footsteps...the wind whipping the snow around into pretty swirls. There...can you picture it?
We were out this morning to Joe's dental appt. and then to therapy. It was a dreary morning...we certainly didn't expect this beautiful.. but cold afternoon.
I enjoy reading Ernestine's blog when ever she posts something. http://myjourneytomindfulness.blogspot.com/ She's about my age and I find that we have a lot in common. A while back she mentioned that her visiting son told her that she should lower her expectations...when she talked to him about not being able to do the things that she once did....especially when it came to her gardens and woods. I came away with that and got to thinking about it. Lowering my expectations...hmmmm. That could apply to me. Sometimes I beat myself up trying to do the things I once did...and failing miserably. It seems that we, over achievers, attempt perfectionism. Perfect marriage, perfect kids, perfect home, perfect meals, and perfect garden. I thought of this again last night as I was stitching a little felt piece. I wanted the embroidery thread to match the color of the felt piece that I was stitching. My eyes are so bad and I have a lot of trouble with colors...particularly when I work with dark colors. I didn't want to do a contrasting color...because.. with my poor vision... my stitches wouldn't be perfect. There's that dreadful word...perfect. As I sat there fretting about it...I thought of Ernestine's son's comment....Lower your expectations. Pretty soon, my tense shoulders relaxed, my stitching hand relaxed, and my whole demeanor just calmed. What if my stitches weren't just so? Was this an exercise in perfection or one of enjoyment? Who am I trying to impress? Wouldn't a kind person...look at my project and take in the whole thing without being judgmental about the size and shape of my stitches? I continued on until my eyes were so tired...I had to quit.I put a picture here of it...not finished of course. I just plopped the top layer on the bottom...with it not being sewn. 

I'm going to take this advice and use it in many areas of my living. Whenever I feel my shoulders up around my ears...I know that I am tense. I'll remember this quote...."Lower your expectations" and I'll pay attention to it.


Sharon said...

That's good advice for all of us ~

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Oh Balisha,
I smile at your sharing.
My son calls from Thailand
every week,
he listens
and always
slow down, pace yourself and
lower your expectations.
I am trying
think we can do it...

Lil said...

I've just noticed you are in Illinois too Balisha. I'm just south of Chicago. :)

marlu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

I do that too...carry the tenseness in neck and shoulders

What a great post, Balisha.

I know that when I sew I will never in a million years be as good as the experts. It has to be about the enjoyment for the most part! :)

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

This was GREAT Balisha. I need to follow this calming advice myself. This past year has been very stressful for me and I've made things worse by thinking I wanted to have everything DONE now, when projects would have happened over time with my husband and I working on them together.

I've had enough little emergencies, so that the other stuff is on the back burner and will get done when they get done.

My needlework relaxes me most of the time. I am not perfect. Speaking of being perfect. When we lived in Spain while my husband was in the US Navy, we bought a couple of beaded necklaces made by Moroccans, and they each had one bead that didn't really go with the scheme. They did that to show imperfection, because only God is perfect. I see exquisite needlework pieces out there that I'll never achieve in this life time. But, I do what I can, enjoying the stitching and thanking God that I can do my own work.

I love your leaves. They remind me of fall. Ya' know, if you don't tell anyone that your colors aren't exact, they will think you did it on purpose for contrast. :-)

Love and hugs to you and Joe, as you love, live and create.


Blondie's Journal said...

This is food for thought, Balisha. I'm wondering if we can learn to be less perfectionists without losing that drive to do our very best, thus not lowering our expectations?

I know that we all have physical limitations, my asthma really interferes with my love for gardening and the sometimes heavy work it requires. Rather than cut back on the size of my garden or work on it less, I just pace myself and know that it's just going to take me longer than the next person to get things done.

Maybe we have to modify the way we do things, but always "expect" that we will be doing it with our whole heart.