Life has so many lessons.  It was not all that long ago I wrote about motivation and how we are all motivated by different things.  I talked about how checklists were my thing and how I like the feeling of accomplishment of checking something off my list.

Yet, you may recall my self-acknowledgment that “the list” is my friend but also my own self-made torcher device. You see, I typically want all the items done now, to the point where I come out feeling more frustrated than accomplished.  I have this super-human mentality that I am going to bend space and time to make it happen.

The blog post went on to talk about how I intentionally work to keep “the list” as a friend.

The List’s Second Lesson

More recently “the list” has an even stronger lesson.  Those items on my list that are out of my control, there is a big lesson in there for me.

You see, as humans, we have an innate tendency to want to keep things in control. We believe control is a necessary evil that helps keep our nervous system regulated. Rather, the more we try to control things, the more stress we put on our nervous system and the less regulated we become.

So the idea of control provides a false sense of security.

So when I started to look at my list, I recognized that 3/4 of the items I have absolutely no control over. Because my list is comprised of tasks I can do myself, those I need help with, and those assigned to someone else.

A List Dependent On Someone Else’s Timeline = No Control

I have this list of tasks, but completion is dependent on someone else’s timeline for which I have no control. You combine this with impractical timelines for certain tasks (if you have ever done a remodel you will know what I am talking about). Now you have a recipe for disaster.

Case in point, we have been working on this remodel for coming up on a year.  We lived in it during most of the summer while we demoed but realized quickly we were not going to be able to continue to live there.  So, we moved out in September with the idea we could be back at the end of December.  When the project got held up for reasons out of our control, I adjusted and said March.  Well, here we are, and we are still not in the house.  At this point, I am just hoping to get it to a livable point so when our rental is up at the end of the month, we can move back in.

Now, this is due to a myriad of reasons: permits being held up, venders that are terribly busy, materials that are on backorder, and remodeling patchwork taking double/triple the time of a new build. Oh, and due to the cost of construction materials, my husband and I are doing the majority of the work ourselves, basically on weekends.

But you see, none of the items listed above, do I truly have any control over. But the minute I believe I do is when I end up frustrated.

Life Has Many Lessons

So, the lesson comes with “how do I manage my expectations?”  How do we (husband and I) not completely burn ourselves out, yet keep going? 

So being in the throes of it, it is hard to see the forest through the trees.  I have to continually remind myself, “we are exactly where we are meant to be.”  It may sound pollyannaish, but I must release my expectations for my home because they are only creating stress and anxiety.

I know, in the not too distant future, I will be able to look back and see the true lesson. For the time being, I am just trying to manage to the best of my ability.

How do you handle your expectations, especially when they are out of your control?  Life has many lessons, what are yours? Share your thoughts and suggestions below.

P.S. I recognize many people in this world are going through far more difficult situations.  I want to acknowledge them.  Yet, this blog is for those individuals who don’t feel they have a right to acknowledge when they are exhausted simply because “there are others worse off.”

Permit yourself to acknowledge this is YOUR journey with ups and downs. Life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. You have a right to feel what you are feeling!

P.S.S. The chaos of our personal space can impact our abilities to unlock our creativity.  If you are struggling with your space, let me help.  Currently offering a SALE on my 2-Day Declutter Package

P.S.S.S. Not ready for me personally, I also have a 28-Guided, Virtual Decluttering Course.