Monday, December 12, 2011

Keeping Expectations Low

The first step is always admitting you have a problem, right?  Right.

Maybe that is the reason I have been feeling much more balanced and calm.  First, I had to admit I had a problem.  My problem was that I wanted a picture perfect Christmas.  The problem with that is that THERE IS NO PICTURE PERFECT CHRISTMAS.  So, after I wrote all about my failure I was free to move on with less expectations.  When you have four smallish children less expectations are always good.

I did not have high expectations when we took the kids to Cabela's on Saturday.  I did not think we would be able to get Grace to sit on Santa's lap without her screaming her little head off so it was a pleasant surprise when she fought back her tears.  And after Santa gave her a candy cane she actually sat on his lap and smiled!  Kind of.
So there is a dead deer in the picture.  So what, right?  The photographer at the store got a picture of all four kids looking at the camera and smiling and she even edited the dead deer out.  Lovely.
I also did not have high expectations that my children would be able to contain their excitement in the store and not smash into everyone and grab everything while running from place to place.  And when we pulled into the jam packed parking lot my expectations sunk even lower.  The place was overflowing with people, but I was very pleasantly surprised with how well they behaved.

I didn't even think about being able to finish the Christmas shopping, but while the kids and I played in the tents Todd was able to complete the shopping for the kids.  Woot woot!
I was pretty exhausted after the trip, the shopping, and a stop at a fun restaurant, so I had very low expectations for my very first concert performance in over 11 years.  The symphony choir I perform with was joining with the symphony orchastra for "The Messiah".   A beautiful piece of music, but very long, and very difficult.  Also, not my favorite type of music.  I'm more of a broadway or jazz kind of a girl.  And, I had to wear head to toe black.  Todd told me I looked kind of Amish.  I did.  But at least my hair looked good. 
The concert went very well.  It felt so good to be up on stage again.  I didn't have any solos or do anything memorable, but it felt great to be a part of something like that again.

It was a nice weekend, overall.  The weather was warm enough on Sunday for the kids to play outside all day and for a nice long run for me.  After a relaxing shower I got to watch the Packers trounce the Raiders and go to 13-0.  Yowsa!  Todd and I celebrated the win with some Pud Thai after the kids went to bed.  Fabulous way to end a lovely weekend.

Maybe the key to a wonderful holiday isn't finding balance, maybe the key is keeping my expectations extremely low.  ;)


Mom24 said...

It may have been low expectations, but it sounds like everything was wonderful! I'm very glad for you, and so happy you're singing.

Tabor said...

I think the key is trying to be in the moment rather than ahead of it and you seemed to do that successfully.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I think you have stumbled upon the key to happy holidays - and life in general! =)
Love the pics, and I am just thrilled that you are performing again!

Tonya said...

yes I agree low expectations are the key in life and holidays!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Less can be so much more at this time of year. And you do NOT look Amish. You look gorgeous.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Your family is beautiful!


Riahli said...

Hahaha, that's the key for me too! And your hair did look super fabulous!!! :)

Krystyn said...

Seems like you've found the key, too! I'm all about the low expectations for holiday stuff because I can't handle/don't want to handle the disappointment with all of the stress.

And, your hair looks FABULOUS as does the rest of you.

Lindsay said...

Ah. Low expectations. Sounds bad, but in reality, it's what works to keep me sane, too! That and spur-of-the-moment stuff. I really hate trying to PLAN needing to PLAN to even go to the store, because SOMETHING always happens and it either doesn't even happen, or it does happen and it's miserable. So spur-of-the-moment, low expectations is the name of my days lately, too!

Hang in there - this too shall pass, and we'll look back and think "why did I wish that away?!" I think.


Merry Christmas!!

Karen Deborah said...

Your not only beautiful your verra verra smart. you got it!

Carol said...

Absolutely beautiful post, Kat! Read my comment on your previous one!!

LOVE the photo of you, sweetie! Wish you were right next door, and I'd help you with your babies~xoxoxoxoxo

Elaine A. said...

Oh SO Jealous of the concert performance! I don't even get to sing in the Christmas choir at church this year since we are traveling to my parents. I personally LOVE The Messiah! :-) You look beautiful. And Happy!

And I think you're right about the lower expectations. I'm going that route too. Thanks for the tip! ;) said...

I have to admit I never look at anything with high expectations.. Esp with my two. But glad it all turned out the way you wanted it too..

lime said...

i have a friend who tells me expectations are premeditated resentments. there may be some level of truth to that when they are too high. glad the weekend worked out :)

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

love the Amish comment. hahaha :) So cool that you are part of a symphony choir. I'd love to start singing again.

My mom always reminds me that if we don't have expectations, then we can never be disappointed. I can see the wisdom in that - especially when you have little kids. haha.

Cute Santa pics - yay for editing out the dead deer. :)

imbeingheldhostage said...

You look gorgeous! I'm so happy you got to do something for you. And the photo of the kids this year is priceless. I think I would have kept the deer head in just for effect :-)

Happy Christmas Kat!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson