Expect

Expect

Oh, expectations. Admittedly, I can not decide how I feel about expecting anything. The sweet anticipation of awaiting something we expect. The exquisite disappointment when what we expect doesn’t happen. The feeling of an unexpected turn in the road. Sometimes exciting, sometimes frightening. Sometimes a heady mix of both.

I used to live my life with a fairly rigid set of expectations, both for myself and others. I always expected that if I did “A”, others would do “B”. I tried to have an answer prepared for every situation. A neat little algorithm for life. It didn’t really work. Not for lack of trying.

As of late, I was forced to abandon my expectations. I pulled up stakes and moved after the end of a ten year marriage. Readjusted every aspect of my life with the exception of my job. I decided not to expect anything from anyone except myself. And I changed what I expected from myself. In the processing of shedding expectations, I became kinder and gentler. Especially to myself. And this seems to have translated into a certain kind of magic.

I’ve always had a core tribe of avid supporters. For that I am fortunate. During a time when I felt broken by the loss of expectations, the strength of these kindred spirits carried me. I came to realize that these are the people who are kinder to me than I have often been to myself. The people who don’t expect anything more from me than just “me”. I surrounded myself with more people like them. People who don’t expect anything in particular, but who have come to expect and appreciate the quirky brand of company that I have to offer, and want and expect nothing more. Somewhere along the way, I realized I am enough just as I am, and so are these people. We carry one another without any expectation of more than the true friendship we feel for one another, and this makes the burden light when one of us needs to be carried.

I wish I’d shed the burden of too many expectations sooner. I used to believe that expectations were akin to morals and standards. I no longer believe this. Expectations can be exciting, but can also be quite heavy. Choose wisely when expecting.

 

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It’s Simple, Stupid

Several months ago, my life splintered. I was forced to re-evaluate nearly every facet of what I’d become used to.

I lost my Grandma in February. She was not just Grandma, she was one of my best friends, and perhaps my biggest cheerleader. Toward the end, she wasn’t always the Grandma I’d always known, a brain tumor was weaving it’s way through her being. But she had some good days peppered in. Simply good days that we could really talk. I miss those days.

Shortly after losing her, my second marriage came to a screeching halt. There was a clink of a cell door behind him, the slamming shut of our book of life together by me, and the crying of our child keeping me awake through the night.

My garden out back went to seed as I muddled my way through the wreckage of so much in such a short time. I lost physical weight as I carried the emotional weight. I moved from my historic home in one state to a newer house in a different state. One I can maintain mostly in my own. I cut ties with many people who had claimed to love me, but could no longer love me after I slammed the book shut. The weight got lighter. It’s simple.

Yesterday was one of the best days I’ve had since the upending if the life I was used to. It’s simple.

I started my day packing lunch for my son. We talked as I packed it, him asking if my new tattoo of Grandma’s signature hurt, and me telling him it is healing. His crying is now gone, replaced by sounds of him laughing as he roars through the neighborhood that is surrounded by farms. He is healing too.

Before I dropped my daughter of at work, I went to the local coffee shop, sat outside with a friend, held a puppy for a stranger as she went inside to order, then had a tiny gathering on my patio as my new chicken coop was assembled in the corner of my tiny yard. It was enough to make me want to bake brownies. So I did. And I got lighter. It’s simple.

My kitchen table was full last night. Full of food, laughter, and parts of my standby tribe members mingling with the the new.

I’m gaining my footing again. I’m planning next year’s garden, healing, and writing some new pages as I listen to the whir of a farmer’s grain dryer. It’s simple.

Amazing Grace

Well, here I sit writing in the harsh light of day again. I could start to like this. Coffee, dogs, sunlight. What’s not to like? The Pumpkin Festival is happening in a couple of weeks! I’ve never been to one. I’ll let you all know if I win the pumpkin seed spitting contest.

For the past 48 hours the white noise of my life has been the hum of the grain dryer up the street. The first fire pit party of the season was last night, and we found the music getting louder as we tried to drown out the constant drone. This morning my daughter told me she thought she might die if she has to hear it for much longer. I find it comforting. Its a promise of plenty. How lucky we are to live in this land of hard work and promise of so much grain that it’s taking days to dry before it’s ready for the silos.

The kids and I traded the wail of sirens for the hum a grain dryer. With the exception of traveling to work, my life exists in a 2.5 mile radius. To some, this sounds hideous. I love it. I love being surrounded by the farms, and I love that when I go to our tiny downtown I’m not blending in with the crowd. There’s almost always someone that’s happy to run into me, and I them. I love that my retired neighbor quietly watches what’s going on, and that she gave the shy man around the corner a stern talking to about how she expected him to treat me when she noticed that he finally found the nerve to bring me flowers.

I came here with the intention of being lost, but instead I’ve been found. I never knew the sound of the grain drying could save a wretch like me.

 

Underwear drawer

Oh Readers,

This week I went against my own grain. I threw away perfectly good underwear. Bras included. Never, even though I’ve read it can be a good idea, did I realize just how good this little bit of secret do over can be!

Flying in the breeze has nothing on this! Don’t get me wrong. I have already shared that I am a twice divorced single mother. That doesn’t mean that I wore ugly undies all these years. But, when choosing said undies, I always considered the tastes of others. Not this time. This time, I picked the undies I wanted. Yesterday, I wore my brand new Wonder Woman undies with a matching bra to work. I FELT LIKE WONDER WOMAN!!! It was great. Today, known only to me (until now) I wore this lacy bit of pretty under my shapeless scrubs. Nothing could stop me. I had my secret going. Who cares if anyone else saw it? I knew that under the shapeless bit if thin cotton built for utility, I had a little something special going on. So, ladies, I implore you. Wear the good undies. For you. Not for anyone else. You’re worth it.