One of the greatest struggles in my life is with setting high expectations for myself.
The post that I originally published last night was out of fatigue.
I've been grappling with a lot of different things and unfortunately, I put them in to words and hit publish. And if there is one thing I've learned it's that if you are going to have a public blog, you have got to carefully filter what you write.
If there are people reading your thoughts, you want to appear positive. Upbeat. Totally in control of everything and managing it all well. The absolute last thing you want to do is discuss how your grandiose expectations aren't being met.
Even if they are written in jest.
Do I set expectations for my husband and children that aren't met and cause me frustration? Absolutely. But then again, I'm not heavily medicated.
Did I have expectations that I would receive a positive response from one of the famous bloggers and/or companies that I contacted regarding fundraising efforts? Yes. But then again, just because this is a priority for me, doesn't mean it's a priority for them.
I know this. I was born at night. But I wasn't born last night.
Am I alone with feeling disappointment for expectations that aren't met? Absolutely not. If I didn't feel compelled to protect the innocent, I could write at length about what other people consider to be our overwhelming shortfalls and insensitivities.
We forget birthdays.
We back out of playdates and dinner parties.
We don't attend important family functions.
We don't do what someone might want for us to do.
Sometimes, thank you notes take too long to write and phone calls and e-mails aren't promptly returned.
One of the greatest things that I've been struggling with for a long while, has to do with this blog. What is it's purpose? Is it just a means to keep track of this time in our life? Is it to connect with family and friends? Share tips and tricks that I've discovered? Or is it to encourage people?
What is the purpose of this blog?
This morning I received a comment in response to my post last night that read, "Get real! Your kids are 4 years old. They forget things, just like must (?) have. Your husband seems great and seems to loves you. Not everyone can get on Facebook. People have real problems with finances today. Not everyone works for a successful company and has 2 great jobs in their house hold. Lots of people would love nothing but to give and give all day but they are tired from swimming against the current and near drowning of a fallen economy. They have problems like how are we going to keep our house, feed our children or God for bid an Illness. The cancer cause is wonderful! You’re doing a great thing. But who are you doing it for? Is all this for the cause or for you to look good in the eyes of everyone. Remember you are offering people a piece of candy. Not everyone needs candy. Not everyone likes candy. Not everyone can have candy. Think about it. It is not personal - It is just the way it is."
This made me think.
I have been devoting a tremendous amount of time to the computer. It has taken me away from my work, my children, my spouse, my sleep, my exercise routine. When I read this article last night, I questioned the amount of time I've been spending in this very chair looking at this very screen.
Is the purpose of this blog to make me rich and famous? To date, I haven't collected a single penny in income from this blog. Yet in the past few weeks, I've devoted more time to it than a career that supports my family. That seems unwise and unhealthy.
And now, we are devoting a lot of our time and resources to cancer research that I am writing about here. Charlie and I have taken a portion of our tax return to fund giveaways and we are training to run a marathon. We could just spend this on a vacation for ourselves. We could just donate this directly to the cause. But if there is a chance that we could generate some enthusiasm and donations by funding contests, why wouldn't we?
Is it because we want to look good in the eyes of people we know and many more that we don't? Is it because we are looking for accolades, glory and fame? Or is it because we are trying to contribute to a cause greater than us and we know that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step?
I hope people can see that we're trying to do this for a good cause. I hope that people don't think that we have some hidden objective. I have carefully weighed reaching out to bloggers and companies because this isn't about me. It's about raising awareness and raising funds.
Ultimately, as important as this blog and finding a cure for cancer are, I cannot forget that the most important part of my life are the small children that are sitting behind me watching "The Fox and The Hound 2" so I can finish yet another computer task.
Although I can easily lower my expectations for a lot that I might be capable of accomplishing in my life, the expectation to be the best mom I can be on any given day, isn't one of them.