June 5, 2011

Instead of Going to a Therapist I Am Writing This

I resisted the urge last night to ask Eric to help me in the kitchen.
We had 10 minutes until the sister missionaries arrived for dinner
and the kitchen counters were covered with bowls, pots, pans, and cutting boards,
I didn't have a single dish ready to be served
and I was tired of being interrupted by rambunctious boys on the trampoline.
I hate being late or making people wait on me.
I hate committing to something and not following through.
I hate that I create all these expectations for myself
and then feel so overwhelmed when I'm not living up to them.
And oh how much I hate and fight the fact that I fit into the stereotype of LDS women
who too often compare themselves to others.
I had imagined what dinner would look like and pictured a mostly cleaned up kitchen
when our guests arrived,
but that obviously would not be the case.
Usually, Eric is so great about jumping in and helping when I ask or give him a specific task.
I know he wouldn't have minded helping out,
but I swear he was hiding evil laughter and smiles as he watched me deal with the pressure 
I was putting on myself. 
I decided that in order to overcome my feelings
I would not ask for help.
I would do it all myself and that it would teach me
to relax and not stress out so much.
So when my heart was pounding and my stomach was sick 
I would not be ready on time.
I fought to deal with it.
And what do you know,
I survived.
Dinner was served 15 minutes late
the kitchen was a disaster
my hair was messy (-ier than usual).
But we did eat
and I forced myself to ignore the kitchen
and imagine that instead of a faded t-shirt and messy ponytail
I was flaunting a stylish up-do and outfit. 
I'm sure the sister missionaries could care less about any of the things
I was feeling anxiety over.
That's not the point though.
It is me who cares too much
if I am late or less than what I think I am capable of.
Maybe in ten years I'll read this in my blog book and
remember this moment as a turning point
in dealing with my expectations and unnecessary stress.

And I'll laugh because
by that time
I will be cooking gourmet meals every night and raising ten kids without ever raising my voice or losing my temper. I'll probably be ironing my husband's clothes, too.
Stefanie Hyer said...

Haha. I'm sure you will do all those things in 10 years and be wonderful at it! And Yes, I have learned something similar for myself... Tyson has helped me to see that I bring on my own stress by making things more complicated than they really are. It is true too. I don't know why I do it... and I still do... but at least I am getting better at it sometimes... simlifying my life! Good luck to you! Love you!

AnneMarie said...

Sorry, Laura, but I'm at least 10 years down the road from you, and I'm not doing those things...But I have learned over the years to relax a little (although my kids probably don't think so). I'm sure your dinner was wonderful and the sister missionaries loved it! Good luck with your turning point.

Suzanne said...

Been there, still trying to get away from there -- good luck to both of us! It's progress just to recognize it & try to fight the expectations, so I think you are making headway!