Hands up if you have high expectations!

Yeah me too. Not only do I have high expectations of others, I have high expectations of my self.

I expect my friends to be loyal, to respect my time (like I respect theirs) and not be late when we make arrangements. I expect them to talk to me and not gaze at their cell phones every five minutes. I expect them to be there for me like I am for them. It doesn’t seem like a lot to ask… but sometimes it is.

At this time of year we also have high expectations for family gatherings. We all want the picture perfect family gathering; happy families, gorgeous food, lots of presents – we see it on every sit com and television show . Sure there might be a little family upset but nothing that cannot be resolved in a half hour time slot or a one hour movie. ( Unless it is August Osage County – love that movie. So much more realistic)

The reality is much more like slow burning resentments, crappy presents and people who barely tolerate each other ( or is that just my family???? (Family of origin not my kids who are AWESOME))

But here’s the thing you have permission to do things your own way, to not go to family functions unless you actually want to.

In 2012 I wanted to have all my family together just in case the world ended  because my youngest would be heading off overseas the following year and it would be the last opportunity for all of us to gather in one place ( we have seven kids between us so it’s not easy to organize). But here’s the thing, one by one, for lots of different reasons, the kids canceled. Sure, I was disappointed but if they didn’t want to be here I wasn’t about to force them or manipulate them or guilt them into coming.

Recently my nine year old granddaughter came to stay for two and a half weeks. I have 11 grandchildren altogether and they all live far away so I get to be the grandma that drops in for flying visits or sends parcels in the mail. Not the Grandma who bakes. Not the Grandma who has the kids for sleepovers. Not the Grandma who goes to school plays.

And to be honest I don’t want to be that Grandma. I like swooping in and swooping out. I like hunting for just the right gift ( okay this is getting harder as they get older and I refuse to just give money!). And most of all I like time to myself. Lots of time to myself. Lots and lots.

So I have my granddaughter staying and the weather is crap and I have a long list of “Shoulds” going on in my head….. a long long list.

So I take a deep breath and let it go and with it all my expectations of how this “should” be and how I “should” be. Because the reality is this is me and I have permission to be my most awesome self.

I have permission to be the kind of Grandma that I am ….. rather than squash myself into to some Grandma shaped mold.

I have permission to not want to do crafts…… because I suck at them.

I have permission to put movies on for her to watch so I can catch up on my writing… because I’m a write and I need to get that shit down on paper ( well, computer screen)

I have permission to be me.

My question you is where are you not giving yourself permission to be you?

Where are you compromising to the point that you don’t feel like yourself any more?

Where have you bent so far that you feel like you are going to break?

The Ultimate gift you can give yourself this Christmas is permission to be authentically yourself, to say “No”, to “yes” if that’s what floats your boat, to be unapologetically YOU!.

This is it. Your Permission Slip. Go be awesome.

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