Expectations – A Case Study

Oh, my. It’s been a while.

I went to the nursery today. Along with bookstores it is a place I experience raw greed. My eyes widen, my body rife with an energy that is somehow calm and invigorated at the same time. I want all the plants. ALL OF THEM. It is a place where I am surrounded by growth and promise, evidence of the life cycle, a concrete reminder of time and those I love. Yes, I see the ones I love in plants.

The begonias my grandmother teded to, the giant dahlias Cass grew so many years ago. The tomato plants my father plants every year. Julie’s roses. My son’s love for strawberry plants, the succulents Lou became enamored with. Faye’s beautiful clivia (always more lovely than mine ; ), the  pansies lining my aunt’s front walk at Eastertime. I see them all, yet, I never see ME.

It has recently become clear that I routinely overlook my self and my own needs. I put other’s perceived needs first in any given situation, something deeply ingrained In my subconscious. A couple of days ago my husband reminded me to “put your oxygen mask on FIRST”. Sound advice for someone who knows where their oxygen mask is. I’m trying to find mine but it’s buried under a mountain of unrealistic expectations. Somehow, deep in my psyche I’ve come to believe that I am responsible for other’s happiness, that I am in charge of making things happen for them. It’s a recipe for disappointment and failure. Two things I’ve internalized and become comfortable with. I expect to fail, yet I continue trying, thus fulfilling my own dysfunctional prophesy. It’s comfortable, predicatable and gives me a sense of control in a weird, backwards way and it serves no one, especially me.

During our last podcast Cat sat with her spindle transforming a fluffy tuft of wool into finely twisted yarn; her hands working with skill and rhythm, her words echoing the same. She spoke of  incremental learning with joy and hope, her excitement was contagious. I heard her. It’s time to change my expectations of my self and others. It’s time to learn and grow (isn’t it always?!).

I enjoy writing this blog. Sitting down for an hour or two revisiting our Curio session helps me transform our conversation into something else – just as cat transforms the fluffy tufts into skeins of yarn that will then be transformed again. But the old expectations take hold and despite myself, I put the writing aside for the promise of comfortable dysfunction. It’s time to knock that shit off. It’s time to release the old expectations.

Cass mentioned a while back that I always have lemon verbena in my yard. Next time I’m at the nursery I’ll look for it – and see me.

Growing, learning, changing.

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