Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lower the Bar!

December 15

Bad night: Baby, who usually succumbs to the dark with some compact, fuel-efficient fussing, test drove a souped-up-Escalade sort of fuss for divinable reason  before finally passing out amidst an exhausted pile of his parents circa 10 PM. 

It was made worse, as all things are, by expectations: I'd been lulled, these past 5.5 weeks, by baby's heretofore agreeable sleeping habits.  And so, anticipating the thought of a deliciously early bedtime for myself, I felt betrayed.  That tiny little monkey with no object permanence or neck control STABBED ME IN THE BACK!

Of course, the real betrayal is my own.  I know -of course I know- that expectations set you up for disappointment.  So why did I allow myself, for a couple of weeks, to take something for granted?  To dare to feel, if not entitled, then at least secure? 

It's a fine line, the distance between quashing expectations and wild anxiety. "Expect the unexpected" is the mantra people use when they're trying to walk this line, but really, if I sat around expecting the unexpected all the time, I would exist in a state of paralytic fear. I mean, there could be zombies!  Any minute!  Or the floor could open up and swallow me!  Is that a swarm of killer bees I hear?  Will a demigod emerge at any minute from your bowels?

When you're adrift in a sea of chaos, you look for some spar to cling to.  We're pattern seekers, we humans: predictions comfort us.

The trick, I think, is to accept expectation.  But to make sure, as much as possible, that you set your expectations really, really,low.  Like, oh, hey: we'll all still be alive at the end of the night.

Which we are, barely.  Thanks to the miracle of coffee.  That's some good stuff, coffee.

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