I recently took a quiz about how we handle expectations, both external — what other people expect of us — and internal — what we expect of ourselves,.
One of the questions was
Have you kept a New Year’s resolution where you weren’t accountable to anyone — a resolution like drinking more water or keeping a journal?
(1) Sure. I’m good at keeping New Year’s resolutions, even ones that no one knows about but me.
(2) Sure, I’m good at keeping resolutions, but I make them whenever the time seems right. I wouldn’t wait for the New Year; January 1 is an arbitrary date.
(3) I’ve had trouble with that kind of resolution, so I’m not inclined to make one, whether at the New Year or any time. When I’m only helping myself, I often struggle.
(4) No. I hate to bind myself in any way.
At times, we feel frustrated by ourselves. Are you most likely to feel frustrated because …
(1) My constant need for more information exhausts me.
(2) As soon as someone expects me to do something, I don’t want to do it.
(3) I can take time for other people, but I can’t take time for myself.
(4) I can’t take a break from my usual habits, or violate the rules, even when I want to.
I didn’t have trouble with the first question. Yes, I do keep commitments to myself, but when it makes sense, not because it’s January 1st. And I try to make the commitment easy to do, like the decision I made last August to draw a doodle/ little illustration, a day. Sometimes I do more, but the consistency is the main thing.
The other question was an eye-opener. When do I get frustrated with myself? I don’t. It turns out my mantra
Stay curious and open to life. No matter what happens keep learning and growing. Find what you love and find a way to share it with others.
is my default state when things come up. For instance I lost my house key twice in the past month or so. I haven’t done that in years because our keys say “Do not duplicate”. I have a spare, but if we lose one and want another we have to ask the management to have another one cut and will also eventually be responsible for having the lock changed. The keys also have our apartment numbers on them, so theoretically if we lose one in our complex someone would have access to our apartment. Not a nice situation to be in.
The first time I lost the key I looked carefully in the car but couldn’t find it, so talked to the management about having another key cut and moved on. Then later it dawned on me that one place I hadn’t looked in the car was between the passenger seat and the console. If it had slipped in there it would have been hidden. Sure enough, there it was so I canceled the order for the new key.
Then, a couple of weeks later I lost it again. It was again when Andy was driving and I was the passenger — I have never lost it when I was driving alone. This time it wasn’t in the car and we didn’t see it on the ground around the car when we got back and parked. I decided I wasn’t about to talk to the management again, even though they were super friendly, I would just use the spare until/unless I lost that one too.
Just in case I checked the parking lot at the store the next day, but I didn’t see it, and I mentally kissed the key goodbye. Then later it dawned on me I could phone the store to see if someone had found it and turned it in. Yes! So it had paid to let it go and give my subconscious a chance to work on the problem in peace.
Anyway, relaxing and letting things go seems to be a habit that’s working for me. Now I’m trying to train myself to consciously put the key in the pocket where it belongs when I get in the car when Andy is driving. Fingers crossed!
How would you answer those two questions?
January 17, 2019