Weekend 8: Expectations/Enjoyment

This weekend I’m dropping expectations and adding enjoyment.

I think both of these have stemmed from last weekend and the week that followed, where I felt too much pressure but was still a bit unwell. On top of that, the mother of one of my best friends died and I found that very upsetting both in its own right and because it stirred up a lot of emotions about my own mum’s death last year. This weekend is still a busy one, but I need to approach it differently to last weekend.

I’m dropping expectations about myself and what I should do and how I will go. You may have noticed by now that one of my biggest challenges is reigning in my overthinking and self-criticism. I tend to set my mind on getting certain things done and I am usually either disappointed because other things get in the way (such as illness, or my printer throwing a tantrum!) or I get discouraged because I expect it to be such hard work to meet my goals or high standards. Of course, this weekend there are things I have to do. However, I am will try to focus on what’s in front of me and not think about how much I should get done, how quickly I should do it and to what standard it has to be completed, nor to think ahead to the other things. This clearly applies to my study, but it applies to almost everything. For instance, it is my sister’s birthday today and we’re going round to her in-laws’ for a BBQ dinner. While I am not worried about this, because it should be relaxed and friendly, I find myself setting standards for how I should dress, how I should behave, how the evening will go and even how much fun I should have. Which, of course, means that I’ll notice everything that doesn’t fit those expectations.

My add one experiment is very related, and I think it reflects my need to keep things simple this weekend. Last weekend, I was thinking about reigniting my enthusiasm for my hobbies and interests. This weekend, I want to focus on enjoying the things I’m already doing. Most notably, before Mum died I was very motivated with my study. Even though a lot of the actual readings and lectures are a bit of a chore, I was really enjoying learning about Psychology and felt very focused on doing well and going on to Honours and possibly PostGrad. Since then, I’ve felt very unmotivated and uninterested. I have a minor essay due on Tuesday and I’m struggling to keep myself sitting down and focused on it, even though I’ve tried. It would be nice to take the pressure off, to get rid of my expectations, and to rediscover my interest and enthusiasm for the subject matter. But also, I need to go out today to get a few more things for my sister’s birthday and, rather than feeling like it’s a chore, I would like to enjoy it. It’s a gorgeous sunny day and I’ll be going to cute little one-off shops around the inner suburbs, so it should be enjoyable! I then have to ice her cake and, again, I’d like to relax and enjoy the creativity of baking and decorating rather than just stress about getting another chore done.

So, now I’m off to do just that!!

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About Zaiene

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life I am inspired by so many different ideals of how to live a happy, fulfilled and productive life but struggle to get around to it. Large scale changes are intimidating and difficult to sustain, so this is my bite-sized life experiment. Each week*, I will find one thing in my life to drop and one thing to add. I will try to drop things that have a negative, unhealthy or over-absorbing effect on my life. I will try to add things that will have a positive, healthy, empowering or useful effect on my life. The experiment is to see whether I can cope with these changes and whether they really do improve my life. *(I began it as each weekend, as a less intimidating challenge. After about ten months, I felt that I wanted whole-week - well, Monday-to-Friday - challenges.)
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