Great Expectations


It’s been a big week. My daughter has been with us full time and it couldn’t have been better. But there was also the criticisms of once good friends and the truth from ex family members. And as usual those things did get me thinking.

I like the metaphor of life being like a river with it’s ebbs and flows, it’s twists and turns, the rapids of white water and the sluggardness of the backwaters. Midlife for me was being caught in the backwater and it is a difficult thing to explain how that feels. You can have all the desire in the world to move forward but that is impossible until certain revelations come, until some of that baggage we have been carrying is ejected and left on the bank, so that we can go forward with a lighter load.

It is interesting that some people believe that I should have been able to just get back out into the current and keep going. Those who actually recognise a midlife episode will know that for many that is not possible. The pondering, the questioning and the ultimate truth come in their own time and at their own pace. Force it and the current might bring you down as soon as you get to that next bend in the river.

In the past week I have learnt that E and my mate and his wife had great expectations about the way I should have behaved. I failed their expectations, but I have wondered if they actually had any right to place those upon me. Does anybody really have the right to expect people to behave in a manner that fits with their beliefs? In these instances I have been told that it was not what I did, but the fact that I did not act to a retrospective timetable that they believe I should have been governed by. But none of them were in the river with me, they were all paddling their own course. None, not a single one of my friends, actually took the time to stop by and ask how I was getting on, whether I needed help, or even just take the time to stroll along the bank with me. So in not taking that time what criteria do they judge me by? None have heard my story.

So here is my advice. If you place expectations on other people and they fail to live up to them, understand that they were yours in the first place. If you make presumptions about people and they don’t conform to those presumptions do not judge them too harshly. Recognise that people can be in dark places and are able to hide the fact that they are wandering lost to everyone, even those who think they know them best. Understand that people change, that change can be a positive thing even when it springs from what appears to be very negative situations. But also understand that change occurs at its own pace, you have no right to impose your timetable on anyone else. And finally, if you know that a friend is struggling, offer a hand, it is sometimes enough that your friend knows you are there for them even if they don’t immediately take up the offer.

Advertisements

17 Comments

  1. Anonymous said,

    March 7, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Absolutely beautifully written Laurie.Guess I have been placing expectations on my ex. You’ve given me food for thought here.Jen

  2. Gypsy said,

    March 7, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Well said Loz. No-one has the right to dictate terms for how we live our lives. Only the person concerned knows what it’s like to walk in their own shoes.I loved that song and video clip. Very poignant images and I especially loved the angels and that gorgeous little blonde haired child towards the end.That was also a lovely pic of you too. Please say hi to R for me. It was awesome to hear from her the other day.

  3. Finn said,

    March 7, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Absolutely right. If you spend you time trying to make others happy, you’ll only make everyone miserable. Please yourself, and do the best that you can with what life has given you.

  4. March 7, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    placing expectations and assumptions upon other people are two of the WORST things you can do to a person.Not. Cool.

  5. March 7, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Bravo! Never truer words were spoken! And hey, I’m loving the new Loz look – it’s definitely you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. terri said,

    March 8, 2008 at 2:42 am

    I love your description about how sometimes life can be like being in the backwaters. I understand exactly what you mean but could never put those feelings to words as well as you just did.That is a great picture of you. You look happy.

  7. Anonymous said,

    March 8, 2008 at 4:40 am

    I’d love to be able to read the private blog. (I tried sending an email, but for some reason it comes back undeliverable.) My email is territerri3@gmail.com.Thanks!Terri

  8. Loz said,

    March 8, 2008 at 5:33 am

    Thanks Jen we all make mistakes, some of them are monumental ones but the consequences are not always bad.

  9. Loz said,

    March 8, 2008 at 5:34 am

    Hi Gypsy I should have said that the song was by Scott Stapp from Creed. And I have said hello for you ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Loz said,

    March 8, 2008 at 5:36 am

    Finn – it’s a hard lesson to learn that you cannot actually do anything about the way other people think. If they have problems they need to sort them out. Doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t offer to help, just that the power to resolve those issues rests in their hands alone.

  11. Loz said,

    March 8, 2008 at 5:37 am

    Mel – I guess people don’t understand that until it happens to them.

  12. Loz said,

    March 8, 2008 at 5:38 am

    Hi Josie – the new me is still in holiday mode. A shave and hair cut is coming ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Loz said,

    March 8, 2008 at 5:40 am

    Hi Terri – thank you. I am happy, many more things have moved forward this week. I’ve learnt more about myself and my friends and most importantly my daughter has been happy.PS – the blog invitation is on the way.

  14. Blur Ting said,

    March 10, 2008 at 3:31 am

    Very well said, Loz.

  15. March 13, 2008 at 3:04 am

    correct as usual

  16. Anonymous said,

    March 14, 2008 at 12:50 am

    I am not a friend of yours or your wife’s or of your girlfriends…. i am just a person reading this BLOG… you say none of your friends were in the river with you when you were having a bad time, it seems to me that none of your friends could get in the river because you your wife and the so called lady (as you called her) were all in there… very full river, when last I looked in a marriage there are usually only two people… one husband and one wife. mmaybe thats why these people dont understand you… i think it might be because you did the wrong thing by having a girlfriend and a wife… not sure and it is only a suggestion… give it some thought. thanks Sandra

  17. Loz said,

    March 14, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Hi Sandra – I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I did the wrong thing. But in this instance the river I’m talking about is the one we all travel and after the separation I actually was alone in my own backwaters. If there were people there with me I did not see them. If they were reaching out a helping hand I did not feel that. That is how I felt, and not a reflection on what other people thought they were doing for me. I did feel alone.I don’t blame anyone for not talking to me. I shut myself off from friends and family whilst I got my shit together. That wasn’t fair on other people either but I wasn’t capable at the time of doing anything else.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: