It’s been oddly relaxing the last few days. Oddly because normally when my husband (and older son) is gone I am hearing every night noise and things are breaking all over the place without his easy-going fix-anything-ness to take care of it. My cell phone stopped receiving texts so it was really quiet even in the kitchen, no “blingbling!” punctuating the atmosphere at various times.
I think I know why I feel so peaceable though, and it’s not because he’s gone or that my cell quit. I’d much rather have my honey around! But I’m embarrassed to admit it is because he wasn’t around for me to *expect* him to take out garbage, repair a break, deal with the dead chicks (two so far), or (fill in the blank). I just took care of everything as a matter of course. And I remembered a dear friend’s admonition to me when she said, “you are not responsible for other people’s expectations.” Which, of course, means that no one else is responsible for my expectations either.
Where do these expectations come from anyway? I know first hand how exhausting it is trying to please other people because if I ever gained an inch, the bar was set back two. Somehow I thought taking out the garbage was my husband’s “job”. Isn’t that in the job description? Garbage man? I know, I know. Big “L” on my wifey forehead.
It goes beyond my husband. Children are “supposed” to be respectful. Friends are “supposed” to be loyal. Relatives are “supposed” to love you (all in the ways I/you expect! Ah, there’s the rub…). I’m finding the fastest way out of that big fat lie of a trap is to just look in the mirror (me? respectful? loyal? loving?). Ha! I’ve got to be one of the biggest proofs there is for God’s incredible mercy.
This morning I visited with a neighbor (as it is, she is a wife also) who, all by herself, drove in posts and put up cattle gates for her driveway. This was within the last week, and she was just cleaning up from processing (that’s “butchering” in city lingo) 28 hens for her freezer. And yes, I squeezed her arm muscles and gave her a good old “You FARM chick, you!!”
So I’m outside these days cleaning up the blackberry vines and planning on tackling projects that I’ve long had in the “husband list”. The “honey-do” list can go out the window as far as I’m concerned. I’m guessing that letting go of my expectations will not only continue to free my own mind, but will free my honey’s as well. Which means I’ll probably be a lot more grateful for when he does the work he does. And that can’t be bad.
I bet my arm muscles will grow along with my heart.