Last fall Drew’s parents arranged for the family to gather for a long overdue family photo. My first thought: can I get away with not wearing makeup for this event?
His mom was concerned about color coordination and everyone looking his or her best for the photo. Choosing complimentary outfits wasn’t an issue. I’ll wear almost anything but I really didn’t want to deal with an itchy, irritated face for the next few days just to satisfy social expectations.
Normally I can sniff out a compromise in almost any disagreement or misalignment of expectations. This wasn’t one of them. Knowing the expectations and traditions of certain family members I braced for friendly persuasion and mentally prepared a list of reasons why I was declining to participate in this ritual. The conversation began…
Family member #1: “Lydia, I noticed you’re not wearing any makeup. Do you want to borrow some of ours?”
Me: “No thanks.”
Family member #2: “You don’t need it, anyway.”
The introduction, climax and conclusion of a conversation I’d spent so much time preparing for ended up occurring in a handful of sentences. It was the last thing I’d expected to happen.
Sometimes there are mountains.
Sometimes there are molehills.
Slowly I’m learning not to assume how steep the hike will be until it actually begins. 🙂
Have you overreacted to anything recently? Is there anything that reminds you not to worry about what will happen tomorrow, next month or next year?
Ooh, can I ever identify with this!! I get so worked up over situations that I expect to be arduous and then nothing much comes of it. The anxiety tends to be 10 times more painful than the situation itself.
Still, I HAVE to do it this way. As an autistic person, I do not deal well with things I’m ill-prepared for — I go bonkers. So, I have to run through every possibility I can imagine BEFORE I actually engage. By doing this, if the situation gets out-of-hand, I can go back to my catalog of responses to pick the one I have pre-programmed.
If I can’t find a pre-programmed response, I’m toast!
Seems like most of the stuff we have anxiety over never really happens. I’m always ill prepared for it because I don’t anticipate trouble. Then when there is, I always think 2 hours later of all the clever stuff I could have or should have said, instead of just standing there like dear in the headlights. 🙂
I have the same reaction to unanticipated trouble!
It’s a tough one, because sometimes preparing ourselves really helps come the moment. I have the exact same problem. Perhaps what we need is balance. Explore the possibilities, think about it a little, and then make an effort not to overly worry. (Preaching to self mainly.)
Very good point.