It’s fall, y’all. And that means… That means _The Holidays_ are coming. And those bad boys trigger a lot of competitive homemaking and unrealistic expectations for cheery holiday perfection on my part. And this year, for reasons unknown, my crazy has started early with autumn. I’m leaving no Fall Bucket List unpinned and no pumpkin recipe un-gawked.
The expectation and the reality seldom match up for me. But even so this fall I have all kinds of expectations for epic family memories. Beautiful food. Beautiful weather. Beautiful family pictures. Beautiful everything. Fall means that my dreams of picture-perfect-domesticity will finally come true. Right?
Fall means I can expect a beautiful home filled with charming DIY crafts that me and my children make together with minimal mess and little hands willing to pitch-in in the clean up effort. It means healthy and delicious dinners and baked goods that are so effortless, it’s actually fun to be in the kitchen again. It means more bike rides that will obliterate weight gain. It means perfection… It means that I will feel like I live in Stars Hollow. Even though I live in the Mojave Desert.
Nope. Not a chance. Let’s make a cup of peppermint tea and laugh out loud. But it does mean cozier nights. Holidays my littles will enjoy. Pumpkins for days…weeks. And a smattering of kitchy, but well-loved seasonal decorations. Happy bike rides (that have no discourse with my bathroom scale whatsoever). It means baking and cooking with a lot of pumpkin (and cream and sugar). It means good, but never perfect things.
My expectations for myself and my life seldom match reality. But sometimes… Sometimes something happens, something changes, and reality surpasses and exceeds all my expectations.
Sometimes it happens when we adventure someplace new. Hint: Fall is an excellent time to enjoy the Giant Sequoias. Sometimes (mostly through reading, revising, and befriending benevolent muses) I reach a writing milestone and my proud-of-me cup overflows. Sometimes a lovely day with happy kids and happy hubs blindsides me and I’m in the right frame of mind to savor it.
What in life has exceeded your expectations? When do your expectations get out of control? And what do you do to manage them?