It’s Sunday, and today the travelers return. I love a good homecoming. It’s so easy to sabotage a wonderful moment with expectations, and assumptions… today I make my ‘to do list’ with an eye for the work week ahead, and ensuring returning travelers will have the laundry room for their own needs when they get home, and a tidy home to return to. Pain has made being productive around the house a challenge this weekend, but it’s somewhat less today, and I know that if I manage my self-care carefully, and mindful of my limitations, I will be able to meet my own needs for preparing for the coming work week, as well as meeting my own basic standard for household upkeep.

Expectations and assumptions are just about the fastest shortcuts to relationship misery ever. If I had set expectations that a certain amount of very specific housework would be done, then couldn’t do it, it could be disappointing or inconveniencing for other members of the household. Similarly, if they were to assume certain specific things would be done, and arrived to find that those things weren’t done, it could be irksome or inconveniencing, too. If I assume everyone around me knows how much pain I’m in – and how much that limits me – I set internal expectations with myself about how I will be treated, that may not be reasonable; pain isn’t visible to others as a quantity or magnitude of suffering, and the limitations it creates are not obvious at a glance.

Clear – and explicit – expectation setting has enormous value, generally, and I practice clear and specific expectation setting as much as I can. Ensuring that assumptions are quickly moved from ‘implicit’ and unconfirmed to ‘verified with clear communication and clarifying questions’ (resulting in assumptions becoming clearly set expectations), I reduce the stress and drama – and anxiety – of life and love. Seems simple enough in text…it isn’t always so simple in practice. I’ve done my best this weekend. Seems my family has as well. I’m eager to welcome them home.

It'll be evening when they get home... conversations over tea, anecdotes, laughter, the quiet warmth of family...

It’ll be evening when they get home… conversations over tea, anecdotes, laughter, the quiet warmth of family…I look ahead and fight the desire to hold expectations, or make assumptions about the evening to come.

I slept restlessly again last night. I’m not sure what’s disturbing my sleep; I wake frequently for no obvious cause, and I’m only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night. This morning I just kept at it until daybreak, and managed almost 7 hours of sleep – in 90 minute to two-hour increments. Hardly ideal, but there’s no real distress in it, either.

Today I’ll spend the day in mindful service to home and hearth, and taking care of me with yoga, meditation, study, and working on my manuscript for NaNoWriMo. Today is a good day for all those things. Today is a good day to enjoy the day, this life, and this being I have worked so hard to become. The small details matter, and savoring the pleasant moments matters, too. It’s a good day to enjoy small delights. It’s a good day to enjoy the world.