Friday, January 07, 2011

What am I afraid of?

Dinner chez YvetteI shared a meal with some of my closest girlfriends tonight, and they remarked how much they'd liked a recent post of mine, especially the part about accepting that I am not a Meltzer. This appreciation in no way reflected on their feelings for my family, whom they love. It was just that they 'got it'. I had to tell them that my dear husband had been hurt by that post, and my explanation to him next morning may have been clumsy.

Gail Brenner expressed it so much better here. "If you want to be disappointed or frustrated, just expect someone to do or say something, and wait for the fallout. It will come." I have found myself disappointed and frustrated over and over again, not because I am just so different from my new family, but because of the expectations I have held. Expectations that they would learn to love and appreciate the foods and activities I enjoy. That they would adopt my attitudes and values and spending habits. That Josh would share my parenting style, and back me up more. Because, obviously, I am right. Yeah. Right. Since when did I become ruler of the world, and get to dictate that everyone has to be like me?

As Brenner says, "Align yourself with reality. You can’t control what other people say or do. You can’t foretell the future. Stay open and accepting to things as they are." In other words: "This is the way it is. Roll with it."

When I'm upset or mad at someone, when I'm disappointed or frustrated that others aren't acting the way I want them to, I need to keep asking myself, as I did that night, "What am I afraid of?" It's harder to ask that, and listen for the answer, than it is to rail against the world.

But this year, I'm all about the listening. I'll be sharing some of what I hear.

P.S. And then I read this.


nettie said...

We all have expectations, and we are all disappointed when they are not met. It's only natural.

I 'get it' too. But don't beat yourself up. I think it is perfectly reasonable to want people you love and for whom you lovingly make good food to appreciate what you do. I think it is perfectly reasonable, and necessary, to share some parenting values. It's not about who's right. It's about sharing - love, values, food, pleasures, activities - not all the time, maybe. Adapatability is the key. Surely.

nettie said...

Er, that would be 'adaptability'.

Hashi said...

Nettie, I liked "adapatability." The ability to add a pat.

My word verification for this comment is 'uniti'.


kt said...

when people told me parenting would be hard i thought it meant parenting over your children, now i understand that it means parenting with another:) I so get this post:)