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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Major

I realized that dreading the work was stealing my joy

Updated: 7 days ago


My husband said something to me the other day that has totally helped me change my perspective when I dread the work of something. We are getting a new puppy soon and I know it’s probably not the wisest decision with a crazy 1 year old and 2 other dogs. I’m so annoyingly aware of the work it will be that every time we talk about the puppy, my first reaction is to grimace and make a statement about how hard it’s going to be. While I’m excited, I also know my house is going to be crazy more days than not. ツ Thinking back on it, I was feeling a little bit the same way when I was pregnant with my son. Someone tell me why God decided that the best things in life also come with A LOT of responsibilities?! LOL. My husband caught my attention when we were talking about how much work this is going to be yet again, and he kind of chuckled and said, “You know, we kind of unexcite ourselves by focusing on how much work something is going to be.” And he was SO right. 



I never thought about it in that way before. I have always prided myself on having realistic expectations because it keeps me from doing stupid things (sometimes) lol. But I never took into consideration how it might be at the cost of getting my hope and excitement up. I certainly am not known for my adventurous spirit - I have some friends and family that have to pull that side out of me. ツ I feel like I developed the decision making part of my brain early because I have always been able to think through things and let people know why that decision is in fact not a smart one lol. After my husband mentioned that, I started reflecting on all the things recently that had been true for. Having a child. Going on a trip. Getting a puppy. Or really any outing away from my house with a 1 year old haha. 


I’m so glad my husband said that. It made me want to stop dreading the work right then and there, and instead focus on the joy and all the reasons why we wanted to get a puppy. After all, these are the things that make life fun, right? And looking forward to things is SO important! 


Check out this other blog post I found talking about expectations that really made me think:


"Imagine you had a ripe, juicy apple sitting on an otherwise empty table in front of you.  You pick it up eagerly, take a nibble, and begin to taste it. You already know how an apple should taste, and so when this one is a bit more tart than you expected, you make a face, feel a sense of disappointment and swallow it, dissatisfied. Or perhaps the apple tastes EXACTLY as you expected – nothing special at all.  So you swallow without even pausing to enjoy its flavor, and you move on with your day."


"In the first scenario, the apple was disappointing because it didn’t meet your expectations.  In the second, it was too plain and unexciting because it met your expectations to a T. Do you see the irony here? It’s either not good, or not good enough."


This is so interesting to think about! I do think having expectations at times can be super valuable. Like if i’m going to babysit a 6 month old - I’m going to want to have some expectations that they are probably going to cry otherwise I might be freaked out when I can’t get them to stop crying.ツ On the other hand though - if I expect babysitting a 6 month old to be miserable and plan on them crying most of the time, I’m not going to look forward to it at all. It’s almost as if our brains are trying to keep us safe by planning for the worst (and yes, I know the saying of planning for the worst so that we aren’t disappointed), but have you ever thought about how planning for the worst all the time could maybe be stealing your joy, hope, and excitement? 


Even with some of the best things life has to offer us - i.e. dogs and babies, I catch myself focusing on how much work it’s going to be. But I'm realizing that laying my expectations down, might help me just be, appreciate what’s in front of me, and have an open mind. Having things to look forward to is one of the best ways for us to be excited and joyful in this life. And I think it’s important for us to always have something to look forward to - even if it’s small! 


I don’t think it’s wise to be ignorant to the difficulties of our choices or responsibilities, but I don’t think it’s wise to dwell on them either. I might even be a little bit daring and say that we don’t ALWAYS have to make the most “responsible choices” in life. I just think that sometimes when we look back on our life, we learned the most lessons and had the most fun with the decisions that maybe didn’t make sense, but we did them anyways. 



This doesn’t give you permission to blame me for your irresponsible choice OKAY! And I’m not telling you to go jump out of an airplane - (unless you want to, I don’t think I’d do that again, but I’m glad I did it once haha). But like, have the baby even if you don’t have the money. Move states if that’s what’s been on your heart. Get the puppy. Take 15 minutes and acknowledge the work it’s probably going to be, but don’t let that steal your joy for what’s to come. Use the rest of your time to think about how much you’re looking forward to this and all the good that can come from it. You did a good work in understanding the work that’s in front of you and planning accordingly, but what an admirable work you’ve done by taking the bull by the horns, and holding on for all the lessons, hardships, and goodness that God has to offer you on this next adventure. It’s okay and good to feel the excitement and happiness too. At least I needed that reminder today. 


Much love and I’m rooting for you, 

Brittany


 

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