Monday, May 9, 2011


Hey there,

I opened the refrigerator the other day and one of the many magnets I have with pictures or quotes or lists or instructions came crashing to the ground.

It was the 8X11 one that holds the list of Expectations for the household. You know, the list that includes making your bed every day before sitting in front of a square box, clearing your dirty dishes from the table, and no rough housing on the main floor of the house, just to name a few. (there are only 10 in case you are wondering just how nutty I am) It's a list that is sometimes adhered to and sometimes not depending on the day, the child, and how much I feel like nagging. (I mean gently reminding :-))

When the frame fell to the floor the Expectations list fell out and revealed the list that had been in the frame prior.

Capacity to Distance
Sense of Humor

From now on I want to.........

Ah, a very different list from a very different time. I used to have this list posted on every mirror of the house along with the refrigerator. It was a list I found in the book The Courage to Grieve. According to the author, Judy Tatelbaum, these are qualities a person needs to successfully grieve. The last line is a mantra for yourself, a little reminder that you are moving forward. What was is no longer, what do you want to do NOW.

My first thought when I saw the list was how glad I was to not be back there, back in that place when I needed that list every day to remind me of how hard I was working, how far I had come, and that I was, indeed, no matter how slowly and painfully at times, moving forward.

Then I began to realize how appropriate that list was for right now. I need all these skills to successfully parent, step-parent, run a household, write with honesty, present with passion, be a good friend, be a good partner, etc.......

Heck, we all need these skills to make it through the day.

Maybe it is time to think less about expectations and think more about the qualities I want to teach my children. Skills they will need to be a successful adult, able to handle life's disappointments with grace and guts.

Thanks for checking in-



  1. hmmm-- i wish to teach my boys how to handle life's disappointments with grace + guts, but don't know where to even start...
    you inspire me!

  2. We start with ourselves, right? Just like the flight attendent says; "Place the oxygen mask over your mouth before you assist your child."