Sunday, November 9, 2008
Lowering My Expectations
A speaker in Sacrament Meeting today voiced an idea I've had lately, which is basically that people who expect perfection have little patience with others'--or even their own--shortcomings. I've been thinking that my expectations for my family members are too high and I would be happier if I changed those expectations. For example, if I expect that my youngest will make one mess each day that will require more than a few minutes of my time to clean up, then I won't be so upset when he pours spaghetti all over the first floor of our home and walks around on it to hear it crunch. (When he did this last week, I had to remember to be grateful that at least it was dry noodles.) And when the day comes that he doesn't make any big mess, I can be especially grateful for that! Of course there will be days like the day of the spaghetti incident when he will move from one mess to the next. That day I found him playing in the used cat litter box while I was vacuuming crushed pasta, and after I washed his hands I caught him sucking toilet water out of the bowl through a giant Pixie Stick tube. At this point I can't lower my expectations to three messes per day, and hopefully he'll lose interest in cat and people potties before I have to. But confronting the one big mess, and hoping it's the one and only mess of the day, makes it a lot easier to deal with and exercise greater patience.