expectation

Whatever happened to those 12 books?

Whatever happened to those 12 books?

January 15, 2021
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On January 4th, 2020, I posted a post on 12 English books to read in 2020. At the same time, I picked 12 books in Swedish ones too. This was the third time I chose a given set of books to read, as a way to actually read those unread books already in my possession.

For the first time, I did  n o t  follow through.

I read ten of the English, ten of the Swedish, leaving two + two unread, and those I just might donate/give away, because even though they spoke to me at the beginning of 2020, they sure didn’t for the duration of the year, and still don’t. On the other hand, two of the books I did read were really good, and I’ve already started to reread Women Who Run With the Wolves, because it is simply that good. Being Wrong is also a book I know I will reread in years to come.

Given how good I am at living up to internal (as well as external) expectations, you might be entertaining questions such as:

What happened to her, why didn’t she follow through?

She’s loosing it, isn’t she? I mean, she couldn’t even live up to this publicly displayed reading challenge. 

Or, for that matter, you might be thinking:

Oh. My. God. She’s human, after all! 

She must be feeling so upset at not living up to this promise!

The thing is, I neither feel I am loosing it, nor do I feel upset. Not even close. On the contrary.
My strong Upholder-tendency is simply being tempered, fine-tuned, used by me with more discernment, specifically what to let go of, even though it might be something that’s served me in the past. If it doesn’t any more, it’s Bye Bye! So if anything, that’s what happened.

The fact that I can temper this tendency, and that I should temper it, might be one of the more important lessons I grasped in 2020. So for this year, I haven’t, and won’t, do a repeat of this practice. I do have an intention to reread books in 2021 though, books that have made a big impact in me, for any number of reasons. And even though I shot way past my Goodreads reading challenge of reading 65 books last year (I read 88), I set the same target, 65 books in 2021.

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Longing for tomorrow

January 20, 2017
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So I found this article, with the long and cumbersome title:
I polled 1,500 people about their best relationship advice – and everyone said the same thing.

I read it.

Pondered a bit.

Wrote down the advice-headings, with the intent of writing my reflections to each piece of advice.

And now. I’ve been acting on it. And as I read the article a few weeks ago, for the past week, as I have been sitting with this, the content of the article itself isn’t top of mind… which I think is good. It makes it easier for me to let go and see what comes to me, when I read them:

  1. Be together for the right reasons
  2. Have realistic expectations about relationships and romance
  3. The most important factor in a relationship is not communication, but respect
  4. Talk openly about everything, especially the stuff that hurts
  5. A healthy relationship means two healthy individuals
  6. Give each other space
  7. You and your partner will grow and change in unexpected ways
  8. Get good at fighting
  9. Get good at forgiving
  10. The little things add up to big things
  11. Sex matters… a lot
  12. Be practical and create relationship rules
  13. Learn to ride the waves

There they are, the common threads of 1500 people giving Mark Manson the basis of the article, condensed into these thirteen statements. As I write, I agree with some, tweak others and cringe at a few. As usual, when writing, I observe myself. Seeing what happens, as I let the words form, spotting feelings, beliefs, wishes and desires, fears and sensitive topics, and – most of all – expectations.

sproutOh, these expectations! Seldom voiced, rather thought internally, with the hope that through osmosis or mind-reading they will automatically pop into the mind of the expectee. And how rarely it works. So I am thrilled at spotting them, getting them down on paper, sometimes even working out a draft agreement I would like to suggest, as a way to get out from underneath the trappings of expectations.

This weekend, I might just make good use of these observations and ideas, written down – visualized – dreams and desires.

It’s as if I’ve collected a fair amount of building blocks, that can be used to craft and create something new; letting it sprout, whatever it will be. Something that better serves Me, and You, and as a direct consequence; better serves Us (throwback to advice number five).

I breathe in. Breathe out.
And long for tomorrow, open to whatever will come.

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