Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Personal expectations


I am feeling pretty good and keeping busy with the seemingly endless list of home renos. I am approaching things differently than in the past. Maybe reality has clicked in and I can see things for what they are. I am a reasonably handy guy and can do a lot of things around the house myself. In the distant past taking on a major project didn’t deter me in the slightest. I am reasonably good at home type projects and did a pretty good job in a reasonable length of time.

As my health over all declined so have my physical limitations. It seemed to take my mind a while to catch up with and accept that fact. I still had no hesitation about taking on a big project, hey this is something I can do. Often it seemed though I would get into the project and the reality of my limitations would only then hit me. I seemed to become over whelmed at the enormity of the task as I was reminded of my limitations by the slow speed of my progress. I became discouraged, disheartened and even felt feelings or uselessness. With a sort of tail between my legs sort of attitude I turned to family for help, which was always freely given.

I think I have finally been able to close that chapter in my life. I see a project (Vi is very good at coming up with them for me) and I am still willing to take them on. I just look at them differently, I look at them through realistic Bill eyes and take into account working at Bill speed. In one way I have lowered the expectations I have put on myself. Being, fine a few years ago maybe this job I could have completed in a day. That was then and now is now. Today maybe that same job, repainting the kitchen again will take me 2 weeks but so what. I CAN DO IT.

This past few months have been tough ones for me and I have really struggled with several issues, this expectations thing being just one of them. I am not sure if this even makes sense but it seems for me to function, I do need to have expectations of myself, push myself to do something productive or it is like I have already given up on life and I am just not prepared to do that. So I need to have expectations of myself but realistic expectations based on what I can do today. Does that make sense.

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7 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Personal expectations

  1. Bill your post is very moving! I will pray you have strength to complete your projects as you say at your pace with lot’s of tea breaks in between!

  2. Nic says:

    Bill, you make total sense. This was an adjustment too with me with my lung disease. Your mind not understanding that your body may not be able to move as quick or keep pace. It’s all a balancing act.

    You’re taking the right approach, it’s not easy but you must be patient with yourself.

  3. souldipper says:

    Hi Bill, Seems to me that Nic has your number! 🙂

  4. Eric says:

    Seems very natural to be frustrated about our aging bodies-I find it remarkable that you have only confronted it now. It’s not the years, it’s the mileage is never as true as for people who have an extra weight on their shoulders such as serious illness or caring for chronically ill.

    Still, most of it is relative and thus subject to our state of mind and personality.

    The fact that you will still take on projects says it all- retreat, possibly, surrender, never.

    Hello Eric and welcome, you are right, retreat possibly but surrender NEVER

  5. Mel says:

    Ohhhh..yup–what Eric said! LOL

    I talk too much anyways! 😛

  6. pattiredd says:

    Hi Bill – don’t worry – all of us at one point in our lives will have a limitation (some big and some small). Keep your mind and heart centered on those things that you CAN do…but, dam it, you have a perfect right to get frustrated sometimes! At times I think our expectations of ourselves is highly-overrated as a “good thing!”

    I remember once when I was ranting and raving about the prospect of my death (more worried actually about the pre-death hassle), a friend of mine asked me to take everything I was ranting about and turn it around…look at it from a 259 degree angle. For instance, “I don’t have the energy to stand in front of an ironing board anymore,” to “Great! I will have more time to blog, write a letter to a friend.” …you get it, right?!!!

    Then, there’s my other friend who advises sagely, “Patti, just take a chill pill.” What she really means is for me to put an entire shot of scotch in my water glass!

    Bill – you are in my thoughts today.

  7. Cat says:

    “So I need to have expectations of myself but realistic expectations based on what I can do today. Does that make sense.”

    Absolutely. I found I had to do the same thing after I was diagnosed with RA. I can still do things that I could do before, just at a slower pace. It took me awhile to adjust my expectations to conform with the new reality. Knowing your limitations and planning accordingly is good.

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