Revising Expectations

I was talking the other day about how I really need to read patterns through thoroughly before embarking on them and I guess that’s really a metaphor for life.  It said there on the very first page on my pattern that it would be about 48 cm but I’d somehow decided that it was going to be about 15-20 cm.  Then I got a little surprised when it kept growing.

Sometimes we don’t read the small print, maybe because we don’t care or because we’re in a rush.  Life has small print.  Life also throws more surprises at you than a piñata.  I think this would also be a judicious place for those unfamiliar American baseball similes, something about curve balls or coming out of left fields.  (Don’t worry, I know even less about cricket, at least baseball bears an uncanny resemblance to the pastime, not sport, of rounders).

Speccy compared it to directions in her comment.  Sometimes you can feel that you’re nearly there but then you notice just one more stage at the very bottom which completely changes the scale of the thing.  I remember turning up somewhere in the very middle of an Irish nowhere with the directions to pull up by a house with a certain colour door to phone for an escort the rest of the way.  It’s rather difficult to tell the colour of a front door in the pitchy black when it’s a long way up a garden.  There’s also been occasions when people who are so familiar with the route omit a key detail in their directions.  It doesn’t help.

The problem in life is that we don’t always get a printout, a pattern or the directions handed to us at the start.  Life has more of an improvised feel, it’s a pattern of our own design.  We try this and adjust that.  But that’s the key point.  You can’t always just keep going on blindly, sometimes you have to look things up or ask for help.  Sometimes you have to look back and adjust the mistakes or change the shapes.  Knitting is more forgiving, you can rip back a little, worse case scenario you can frog the whole thing.  Life doesn’t give you many opportunities to start over so I guess that makes it even more important to review and revise as you go along.

Sometimes a crisis will come along and you have to jump feet first into that deep water.  But sometimes even crises require a different approach.  Sometimes you have to plan before you jump, taking the time to come up with a workable solution rather than making matters worse with two of you now flailing in the water.  Sometimes you’ve been doing all you can to keep someone’s head above the water but there comes a time when you have to hand over to someone else, someone who’s maybe a little more competent or experienced or even just less tired.

Last week was a week when I had to revise my expectations.  It was busy and only my second week out of the fog but I enjoyed it.  It was full of good friends who reached out and helped me get to where I need to be.

But I had to be bold in both senses and ask for that help.  I had to acknowledge that I needed the help first too.  And that I wanted my life to be in a different place.

Then I learnt what true friends are like and how you don’t get burnt when you ask them for help.

I finally accepted that there are days when I can get on with a little housework or some projects and there are other days when my body just wants me to leave it in peace, preferably under a duvet.  You know what, I was fine with it.  I could see my own achievements clearly for once and I was happy with what I had done.

I’ve had to accept that life and housework isn’t about ‘everything’ or ‘perfection’.  It’s about doing what I can when I can.

I’m also learning that my perception of myself isn’t always accurate, others see me differently, in a more positive light.  I see myself as incompetent failure.  My friends, the opposite.  But that’s a discussion for another day about the mask I wear and how I project myself.

When knitting, you can often see the finished article in your head.  That’s what spurs you on.  What’s more difficult, especially when you’re designing your own pattern, is how to get there.  It is a case of improvising but you have to sit yourself down and regularly take stock of where you are and what you need to change.

In life, it can be harder to visualise where we want to end up.  But that’s apparently what drives success, knowing your destination and it being real.  It’s no good kidding ourselves either that we want to be somewhere else and sometimes our journey dictates our current destination.  But you have to keep adjusting your course and if you end up take a stop in some apparently not so pleasant place then you have to revise those expectations one way or another.  Maybe this is where you’re meant to be and it’s not such a bad place after all.  Maybe you need help to get back on the road to your actual destination, maybe you’re a little lost because you haven’t consulted your directions or pattern for a while.

In life and knitting, I need to take the time to find out where I’m going to end up and ask myself if that’s really where I want to be.  I probably also need to work on visualising my destination, where I want my life to be.

The indomitable Jester Queen has recommended that share this post with the Just Be Enough Linky.  So here goes!  (I hope it fits).

Just Be Enough - Sharing Stories - Badge


7 thoughts on “Revising Expectations

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  1. A work colleague broke her ankle around the time I got sick. 6 months later she was fine and I was still a zombie. She asked ‘but what can you do? I had physio- what can you do?’ My response then? ‘revise my expectations’!

    There are days when I need to be in bed, days when I use a stick, days when I can hardly join two words. They just are. That doesn’t stop me complaining about them, but I don’t beat myself up about them any more. For the other days, I work out what i can do, what I will enjoy, what will make me feel like I’ve achieved something, and that’s what I focus on.

    I struggle with asking for help, with acknowledging that my brain doesn’t work as well as it used to, but I’m getting better at it. It looks like you are too! :)

    1. There are no quick fixes are there? It can be very frustrating at times, especially when others want you to find that elusive quick fix as soon as. It’s been a long journey but I think I’m finally finding my way and finding contentment in ‘enough’. I’m glad that it’s getting easier for you too. :)

  2. I actually enjoy the knitting pieces. I don’t knit, but I want to (no time to learn), and I love that you present the subject in such an approachable way. Do you do linky memes? I think I originally found you through one, so I think yes. This piece today made me think of a meme I just ran across called Just Be Enough over at

    I’m pretty sure the linky is open all day, and you might be interested in posting over there.

    1. I just do the ones on Write on Edge at the moment, I looked into another one but I couldn’t work how and where to link up! The Trifecta one looks interesting, may have to join the bandwagon with that one too. This Just Be Enough is a little less specific, I don’t know if my post is ‘right’ for it! Thank you for sharing. Oh, didn’t you say you were in Alabama, have you been affected by the storm? :)

  3. “Knowing your destination and it being real”. Very true. Well spoken piece! I was worried about the knitting analogy at first, because I don’t knit, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to follow, but you never lost me once, and I completely understood where you were coming from.

I'd love to know what you think, concrit is especially welcomed on fiction pieces. Thank you.

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