“Grate” Expectations

My thoughts are that my husband and I are doing Pandemic isolating “correctly.”  

When we leave the house (infrequently, in my view), I have a lot of thoughts about how others are doing things “incorrectly.” 

My thoughts tell me that my loved ones are less safe because of the way others are behaving.  The thing is, that has always been true.

My thoughts tell me that our society is vulnerable when others make poor decisions.

The thing is, that has always been true.

My thoughts tell me that health care workers and first-responders are unfairly burdened by others being irresponsible.

The thing is, that has always been true.

My thoughts tell me that this is different.  

Maybe.

I know that no one is actually behaving any differently while I am having angry thoughts about others ignoring state and local orders and that, 

for sure, 

has ALWAYS been true.

Expectations are for ourselves, said my father. Not other people.  

But if I’m not angry don’t I let them off the hook?

They are already off the hook.

If I don’t judge them, does that mean nothing matters?

If I judge them, DOES it matter? At all?

All my judgment, expectations, exasperation and condemnation only dilute my potential for leadership. Those angry thoughts only distract me from learning how to help.

I have a lot of work to do on this topic, but I know for sure that my elevated blood pressure has not kept anyone home.  

My angry muttered comments have not convinced anyone to put on a mask. 

And if you ask my husband, I also could do a lot better at 

keeping my distance, 

remembering to disinfect,

avoiding touching things,

avoiding touching my face,

cleaning things that come into the house,

washing the produce.

And I do a bit better because he shows me how it’s done with love and concern for all of us.

Expectations, said my father, are for ourselves. Not for other people.  

Otherwise it gets ugly.  

Otherwise we get ugly.

It grates at me, but I’m trying that thought on.

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