Crushed under the weight of my own expectations

I was doing some heavy thinking on the treadmill yesterday… what else is a girl to do while she sweats out four very ugly miles as part of her half marathon training?

And what was I thinking, anyway, training for this half marathon? It has been an ugly few weeks… I have a dozen excuses of why I’m not very stallion-esque while I run, but none really matter… I’m still training through the ugliness. Even yesterday’s ugliness when I happened to forget my deodorant (gasp). I feel sorry for the person running next to me. (Let’s be honest… my nose has been stuffy for two months, so I was blissfully unaware of how much I really embarrassed myself.)

But back to the treadmill… I was mulling some deep thoughts as I sweated to Beyonce. I read a blog yesterday about ways to increase the amount of walking I do. Which is a great idea. You know the drill… park at the back of a parking lot, take the stairs, yadda, yadda, yadda…

And this is how my stream of consciousness progressed:

I should walk more. Heck, I’m trying to drop a few pounds, this sounds like an easy way to facilitate that.

But then I’d have to wear flats every day. And even my best work flats aren’t really made for a lot of walking. So I’d have to buy new shoes.

But I’m supposed to dress for the job I want… It’s proven science (at least, I saw it in a magazine once) that the most professionally intimidating women wear stilettos. And since I have a fairly public job, I need to be a put-together professional fashionista.

But if I walk long distances in heels, I’ll mess up my feet. I don’t need a bunion. Those surgeries hurt.

And then I thought about other contradicting expectations I put on myself:

I want to be a domestic goddess. I should be a fabulous cook. And baker. Good women know how to bake pies.

But I shouldn’t really eat those sorts of calorie-ridden foods. I need to be eating lean. Basic. The last thing I need to be eating is pie. 

But a domestic goddess doesn’t just make grilled chicken and steamed veggies for dessert. She needs to wrap that chicken in cream cheese and bread dough and bake it in the oven. And I should saute those veggies in some sort of wonderful Italian olive oil.

As a domestic goddess, I should have a clean house. I should put myself on a cleaning schedule, and have sparkling floor and dustless blinds. On all 20 of my 10-foot-tall windows.

But I work long hours. So if I spend much time cleaning, I won’t have time to work out.

Maybe I should work out before work. Oh wait, if I do that, I won’t get my quiet time in. I could try to do both, but then I would have to wear a pony tail to work. And then I won’t look fashionably intimidating. How can I juggle a quiet time, getting ready for work, cleaning my house, working out, and cooking healthy?

And suddenly I’m drowning beneath the weight of my own expectations.

The other night, as Mr. Right and I prayed together before bed…

Side note – a pastor at our church told us that the divorce rate for couples who pray daily together is 1%… and since divorce is not an option and we want to set ourselves up for success, we’ve adopted a nightly prayer time, just the two of us, before we go to bed… and I absolutely love it.

As I was saying… the other night, as Mr. Right and I prayed together before bed, he prayed the sweetest prayer over me. He prayed that the Lord would reveal what His expectations are for my life, and that He would save me from being crushed by my own self-expectations.

I never thought of it that way. I do tend to be my own worst enemy when it comes to holding myself to an impossible standard.

And I didn’t realize that Mr. Right had noticed.

What a sweet prayer for a girl who wants to be a Martha Stewart homemaker with a Jessica Biel body and a Condoleeza Rice brain. Marriage, in the midst of all the fun, surely is a sanctifying experience.

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