Monday, October 6, 2008

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

I have this disease.
It's called really high expectations.
I bring it on myself a lot.
And today my counselor noticed that I'm really beating myself up about them.
I kept saying "I should" do this.
I keep saying things like I shouldn't feel this cause its silly or stupid to feel this way.
Or "I want to feel this way by this date."

Where does this disease come from?
I have no idea.
I really don't feel like I have people pressuring me to do most things I do.
My mom never really put really high expectations on me.
Neither did the rest of my family.
There were quite a few people in my family who didn't even finish high school.
Many of them haven't been out of the country but I am always pushing myself.
Pushing pushing pushing.

Some good things can come from this disease.
I'm very organized with things and I get things done on time.
I have met a lot of my life goals.
I bought a house before I turned 30 (of course now I have 2). I've been to Europe several times. I have traveled alone twice. We had a perfect wedding. I've learned several hobbies. I skydived (or skydove) at 21 and bungee jumped before age 16. I lived in NYC for 3 years.
And of course I had love.
So the advantages of this disease are pretty good.

But the disadvantages are bad.
I beat myself up for not meeting goals big or small.
Like, I wanted to be the perfect wife. It was very hard for me to deal with the fact I wasn't.
I wanted to be the wife who had the perfectly clean house, had dinner parties, had dinner on the table every night, cooked breakfast on the weekends, had a perfectly decorated house, and gave her husband some good "lovin'."
And there is of course not finishing my BA/BS degree yet which bothers me a ton. More than most people realize.

Right now, its hard cause I have these expectations of how I should be feeling.
What I should be feeling and when I should feel it.
I also make sure that I do something each day. I feel like I should accomplish something. I want to make sure I have a list of things to tell people what I did each day.
Again a cause of the shoulds.
But why do I feel I have to.
I can have days where I do nothing. So I'm scheduling some nothingness.
Yes, I actually put it on my calendar.

One of the worst symptoms is I try to pass on these high expectations.
I try to make others live by my rules and spread my disease.
I set high expectations for them as well.
And when people fail me, it hurts.
And when people fail me right now, it hurts like hell.
Right now, its probably one of the worst things people can do to me.

I've never dealt with disappointment very well.
Again, I think its the high expectations.
I hate being disappointed.
And I will try my hardest not to let myself get disappointed.
Roger always told me just not to have these high expectations and then people won't disappoint. But that's much easier said for me than not.

Ironic enough... I don't wear my glasses out very often cause I feel they make me look smart.
And what is wrong with looking smart?
High expectations.


Me said...

It's nice to beat up on yourself first, so this way if anyone else does it.. you can at least have the satisfaction of saying you did it first.

I have the same disease :)

dtpartylite said...


I am Mrs. Malone's Mom.
I read your blog everyday, in fact it is always on my to do list.

I am inspired, encouraged, and in awe of your strengths, honesty, vulnerabilities, and raw writing/feeling talent.
I laugh, I cry, and I wonder with every word that you write in your blog. With you, I never know what to expect which is why I read your blog on a daily basis.

You are always in my prayers and I think of you often.

I like what your friend said about beating yourself up with expectations- beat yourself up first so you can have the satisfaction of saying you did it first.

Trust me, I have the disease as well. Just ask Mrs. Malone.

Here is a little story- I'm sure you have many, but I find this helps.

Friend, Love, please don't mourn for me.
I'm still here, though you don't see.
I'm right by your side each night and day and within your heart I long to stay.
My body is gone but I'm always near.
I'm everything you feel, see or hear.
My spirit is free, but I'll never depart as long as you keep me alive in your heart.
When you start thinking there's no one to love you, you can talk to me through the Lord above you.
I'll whisper my answer through the leaves on the trees, and you'll feel my presence in the soft summer breeze.

Dannielle Townley

Teri said...

Star, what an insightful blog. It's great that you've realized you want to stop "should-ing all over yourself" (dumb psychology joke!) :)

I also give you kudos for accepting the fact that you have high expectations, and that there's both positive and negative consequences of that. It is what it is - I think we'd all be so much more at peace with ourselves if we just learned to accept things about ourselves, and I admire your ability to do that.

Can't wait to hear all about your nothing-doing! Give the kitties a pat for me :)