To The Void

Hey, Cristy from DoubleKnotted—you won the essential oil giveaway. Email me at camille(at)archiveslives(dot)com with your address so I can pass it along to Jami who can pass along the bottle of lavender goodness to you.

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My mother-in-law gave me some advice before I married her son.

“The most useful tip I can give you for navigating your new life as a wife and (potentially) a mother,” she said, “is this: LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS.”

Lower my expectations for my husband, for my children, for my life.

Blushing young bride that I was—a child, really—full of innocence and naiveté, I hated and scorned this advice. Naturally.

Lower my expectations? What a miserable way to live—I like my expectations! They’re hopeful. And nice. With any luck, my life will turn out exactly according to my shiny little plans.

Still, I was impressionable enough that her advice planted little niggling seeds of doubt in my cock-eyed optimism. A few months into my new life as a wife, I discovered that my expectations were kind of…well…high. And even though I was confident that they were high for good reason (i.e. giving my husband something to work toward), I couldn’t help but wonder how much more peaceful our lives would be if my expectations were a little more down-to-earth:

What if she’s right? Maybe I should lower my expectations. If I expect that Poor Kyle will get home from work at 10:00 p.m. instead of 5:30 on the dot, then I won’t be sad when he saunters in at 6:45.

My friends, it has now been almost exactly three years since our wedding day, and I am happy to announce that, just as I suspected, my mother-in-law was wrong.

Wrong, wrong, WRONG.

I don’t need to lower my expectations…

…I need to CRUSH them.

Decimate.

Pulverize.

Send them through the wood-chipper and throw them in the trough for the pigs to eat for Sunday brunch.

Because if I expect that Poor Kyle will be home from work at 10:00, there’s always the possibility that he might not be home until 11.

BUT if I expect that he will run away with his mistress and never come home at all, then any time I see his truck pull up in the driveway will be a delightful little surprise.

This concept applies nicely to other aspects of my life beyond just marriage, too. It’s so versatile that way. Watch how easy:

If I expect that tomorrow will be a good day, and it turns out to be bad, I’ll just be disappointed. And if I lower my expectations as per my mother-in-law’s (crappy) advice, and expect that tomorrow will be lousy, there’s still a chance that it could be worse than I expected.

But, if I completely destroy any glimmer of hope that tomorrow will even EXIST, then simply waking up will be a treat.

I could hope that my car will start in the morning, but think how depressed I could be if it doesn’t! Instead, why not assume that my car will be stolen during the night, so that the very sight of it still in the driveway when I start my day will cheer me along my way? What, George Jettson, you’re still here? Bonus!

Forget expecting that dinner will taste good. Don’t even bother expecting it to taste like feet, because there’s always the chance that they could be the decomposing feet of a dead man. Instead, go ahead and assume that you will never eat again, so no matter how much you bungle the cordon bleu, it will still be manna in your eyes.

It’s a simple theory, and I could hope that you will all follow my lead and try it for yourselves, but that would be an unkind assumption to saddle on myself, since I know you’ve all died and there’s nobody actually reading this blog anymore.

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in change, do what I say, failures, I hate change, It's All Good, Married Life, mediocrity, mondays suck. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to To The Void

  1. Cristy says:

    Yay!! Thanks, Camille, you made my day. Plus, I can totally relate to this post. When will I just learn to be happy with all the good things I do have instead of always thinking about what I could have that might make me even happier?!

  2. Alaina says:

    ha, I absolutely love your outlook…being a glass is completely empty person myself, I agree that keeping your expectations low is for the best. However, do I actually do this in practice? Probably not all the time, but you’ve inspired me to give it another go!

  3. Maureen says:

    Haha. I actually kind of do this already. It works out pretty good.

  4. Spencer says:

    My wife needs to read this. Then maybe she won’t be so disappointed that I’m a sad sack of underachievement.

  5. Geevz says:

    BWAHAHA! I’m laughing mostly at the “you’ve all died and no one is actually reading this.”

  6. Heber A says:

    Eloquent speech on gratitude. I can’t wait to hear how it goes over in sacrament meeting.

  7. Dutch girl says:

    I wish I’d died today! I had the crappiest day ever and I’m too upset to go to sleep and forget about all the sh*t that happened today. I’m not expecting that tomorrow is going to be any better.. I’m with you girl.

  8. gina says:

    Ha ha!! I love it. I have a husband like that (hopin’ for 5:30pm and he comes sauntering in around 9:00pm all like “what’s up?” Yeah… good advice. Lower expectations. Have none. I agree. It is the secret to a happy life – because you never expected “happy” anyway!!

    I’m loving your blog! Keep on writing so I can keep on laughing.

  9. How did I miss this giveaway? My sisters, mom and I use essential oils religiously. Lavender and Peppermint are my favorite. I carry them around in my purse with me everywhere. Sad I missed this. :-(

    -C

  10. Whitney says:

    Marjorie Hinckley said the same thing and she was married to the Prophet. Its true though. I came into marriage with such high expectations…what a crock.

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