My very first posting should be something spectacular and meaningful. I have a lot of stuff running through this mind, I have so many ideas for posts that I can't wait to share. Deciding on my first is difficult [random thoughts at this moment include. I hope people read this. I hope I am spelling correctly o yeah I have a spell check. Bees- no that's a story I want to save for a rainy day. Life, relationships, fashion. How I picked out my outfit today - maybe I should change? No- just focus].
So, here it goes...my first topic! Peanut Butter Sandwiches!!!
Two pieces of whole grain bread, some peanut butter, a plate, a butter knife, a paper towel, not even 2 minutes of my time. Unless of course this one sandwich is being made while making two other's. And this one sandwich leads to making this same sandwich every evening after dinner is cooked, cleared, cleaned, kitchen is cleaned (I have managed to get this system down and have it all done on a good day in 1 hour- not including cooking times), homework for my youngest son is completed for the next day (which includes games to help him focus and motivate which may or may not include me jumping across tiles in my kitchen - yeah I know that's crazy but it works), coffee is made and pre-set for the morning. Then it's sandwich time, everyone has a specific sandwich they will only eat for example (ham cheese no mayo, turkey cheese mustard, turkey cheese mayo only or sometimes peanut butter and jelly and of course the peanut butter only) and it's 9:00 and I still have at least an hour before the house resumes to some sort of sanity. Just so I can crash and feel the burn from the entire day of non-stop motion.
This sandwich I am referring too, began one evening when I yelled into the living room over three televisions in three different rooms blasting three different T.V. shows to my Fiancé" do you want a sandwich for work tomorrow". Of course his response was "sure, I'll have a peanut butter sandwich, no jelly, just peanut butter". From that day forward most morning's before work, he checks the refrigerator for his peanut butter sandwich. When there isn't one there, and sometimes there is not, he asks "did you make a sandwich, I'm Just Checking". The first few times I forgot to make the sandwich for numerous reasons, I am human, I do forget things. I lived with this guilt during the day often asking myself what the big deal was about making the sandwich, the guilt soon moved on to a little anger. " It's a sandwich, why can't he make it himself?' Escalating myself into a true anger and feeling totally "FIT TO BE TIED"!
After living with this anger, we had the sandwich discussion. Yes, a true heart to heart about this sandwich [we are both therapists talking is what we do, even over sandwiches. Some really good conversations included the Paper Towel Brand discussion, the Over or Under Toilette Paper incident, and one of my favorites The Parmesan Cheese situation]. Only to discover almost an entire year later that the reason he asks, is so he doesn't hurt my feelings! WHAT? REALLY? And I could add some curses here...but I won't. The reason being as he states, I have made a sandwich that he has not taken. And I have said, " you didn't take your sandwich today" [I feel it's not a big deal I just wanted him to know I made the dumb thing and he forgot it]. Leading him to feeling badly because he forgot it. Now, some of that I believe, some of it, I don't. I still believe he expected there to be a wonderful, fulfilling, tasty peanut butter sandwich made with love and kisses every day, even if he forgot to take it. But, at any rate. Miscommunication! IT'S A SANDWICH!!! How could this sandwich lead to this?
Here is how this bread and peanut butter has made a big deal in my relationship and spiraled into my life. Expectations. I am writing because, that one sandwich made me think about how expectations form. How as a mom, a friend, a wife, a Fiancé, a husband, a boyfriend, a girlfriend [you get the picture] we place expectations on others, and when sometimes those expectations aren't fulfilled, we get angry, sad, disappointed. I have heard a famous psychologist state that it is when expectations are not met , problems in relationships occur, therefore we should lower our expectations or change our expectations. Is that healthy? Is that even fair to ourselves? I have also heard that expectations raise self-esteem, give us something to strive towards, build our confidence and make us better people in general.
Expectations in general aren't bad, they can lead to great things. Should we stop expecting, should we just accept things good or bad? Should we lower expectations? I really don't think I am someone who could that. What I can do is realize, sometimes a sandwich is just a sandwich. And having some expectations on me is good I am needed and wanted. And sometimes, not that often but sometimes, I don't want to make the sandwich! I just don't want to play the homework game, I just don't want to argue over what time to be in the house after hanging with friends, I don't want to clean, do laundry, cook, etc...but I do all of it. And someday I won't, because if all of this goes well, the boys will function on their own, and their expectations of me will shift to something else. And all that will be left to make is one sandwich in the evening and hopefully if all goes well, it will be two pieces of bread and peanut butter, no jelly. Maybe, I just need to enjoy it all while it lasts (esp. after all the work is done at the end of the day). I'm just saying...