How to stress less about expectations.

What a difference a word makes … In case you’ve been reading for a while you might now I’m quite the word and grammar fiend. Lucky you if you’re not living with me in real life because my family and colleagues get the full dose of my nit-pickyness every day. But hey, in 80 % of the cases they’re actively asking for it. But you didn’t come to hear me talk about that. Or at least I didn’t plan on delving into this further [at least not today]. Only to explain how this post came about. It was when I noticed how I could use the difference a slight change of wording makes to feel a little less stressed – and the hope you might benefit from it, too.

Expectations. They are everywhere. In school. At work.  For young people. Old people. The world is filled with a million and one of them for every gender, age, kind of exercise, time of our lives, … You name a group you belong to: there are expectations associated with it. And it’s understandable: clichés help us arrange the world and the people we meet to make life easier. However, they have a big downside: nobody can ever live up to all of them – and with that come self doubt, feeling like the odd one out and sighing “why can’t I be like everybody else??”.

Just a few examples of outside expectations I’ve happened upon.

In university we’re expected to hit a certain GPA when we graduate. Anything worse than that and our future seems to be at risk.

Reality: I was neither the best nor worst in my degree program and when it came to applying for my current job my final grade didn’t matter. But you better believe I stressed about this like crazy, regretting the times I felt I could have studied harder.

If we suffered from an ED we’re expected to be recovered and “back to normal” after a certain time.

Reality: Recovery takes time. For some more, for some less. Putting huge expecations on somebody in recovery and showing disappointment doesn’t help. At all.

We’re expected to have figured out where we want to go with our lives at a certain age.

Reality: So what if – and I think it’s the case for many people in this day and age – we haven’t?  What if it’s an ongoing journey?

What would happen if we turned this view on things around and stopped blaming ourselves? If we exchanged ‘expectations‘ with ‘assumptions’?

Expectations can get overwhelming, provoke anxiety and not living up to them feel like admitting defeat. Assumptions,  on the other hand? They’re just that and if others are wrong in theirs about you: so what? It’s not your purpose to fulfill anybody’s assumptions. It’s okay to fit in with your peers at times and not at others. We’re not less valuable as individuals if we’re not breaking PRs at the gym, haven’t found our perfect match by age 25 or visited a certain number of countries by 30. We’re not less important as bloggers if we can’t post five days a week or publish the most exciting recipes.

Just like Pink already knew: I’m not here for your entertainment expectations.

When people assume a certain image to be true it’s not our fault if it’s not true. That way others assumptions about a certain part of society simply aren’t applicable for us. Everybody’s different. Stereotypical assumptions don’t necessarily match. That’s cool. Be you, be awesome, be happy.

 

And that was me thinking out loud with Amanda again. Thanks for opening up Thursdays for random rants, rambles or anything on our minds.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Tell me whatever comes to your mind on the topic. Possible ideas:

What are some expectations you feel others are having about you? What are some expectations you’re holding up to yourself?

Can you lessen the burden they are by thinking of them as assumptions instead?

 

Happiness-inducing today: A girl I talked to at the gym at random calling me disclosed as I chatted her up which is a huge compliment to me as an introvert.

 

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What my grandparents taught me

What is it with me and those random anniversaries and holidays lately? First those  snippets on Sunday  [I still don’t know where they came from]. And then the other day I came across a list of holidays I’d never heard of. Then again it’s not too surprising I wouldn’t know about national holidays in the US. Either way,  there are some that should be celebrated worldwide. Or did you know that September 7th was National Grandparents Day?

They say that boys were looking for a girl who’s like their mum – and girls for a boy who’s like their dad.  While I wouldn’t mind the latter,  either, I hope to find a guy who’s like my grandpa when I grow up [because I clearly am not yet …]. My grandpa is not only a talented craftsman like nobody else I know [he’s well known for those abilities and gets a lot of requests], active .. . Plus he’s the world’s best hug giver and that obviously matters.

And my grandma? Like my mum she’s one if the best listeners and sweetest persons I’m blessed to have in my life. Always there to listen to me, calm me down, teach me how to bake the best cookies ever, … But wait, I meant to talk about something else:

During all the time I’ve spent with my grandparents so far they’ve [uninentionally] taught me a lot about life. So let’s take a moment to thank – and think out loud about – grandparents for the wisdom they offer us.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Life would be boring if all of us looked alike and had the same talents.

This is actually something my grandpa told my sister when she was unhappy about something she’d failed at. And it’s so true: we weren’t all born to be either math geniuses or models. All of us bring their very unique personalities and talents into this world  so in cooperation we can change things and create the world we want to live in. We can learn from and help each other and it’s what ties us together and what makes friendships that much more important.

When you have a dream you don’t let anything stop you.

Though neither of them speaks a language aside from German or Polish my grandma and grandpa are avid travelers.  They’ve spent countless Easter holidays skiing in France, used to drive all the way to Spain for a month every year [my grandpa’s a passionate surfer] and even hopped on a plane to the US. They have trust in things working out in their favour. And these times when it doesn’t …

When life hits you hard, you stumble, fall and take up walking again.

Years ago my grandfather had a heart attack that hit him out of nowhere. All of a sudden he, who’d always been active, out and about and unstoppable had to slow down. Got breathless more easily. It really hurt him mentally, too, and we were worried he’d grieve forever knowing he’d never be able to get his old life back. Fast forward to today: grandpa’s [almost] his old self again. He might have had to give up very strenuous activities like surfing but he found new ones to pursue. We have the ability to turn bad situations around if we choose so.

It’s about the people.

This goes along the lines with be thankful. Like many people from the older generation my grandparents worked hard to raise their children and offer them a good life – yet never complained. Being with family is still what matters most to them to this day. Another part of this is finding happiness in non-materialist ways. The generation of our grandparents usually experienced poverty and didn’t pile up goods. They learned to get by with little and find joy in the little things.

You don’t have to like everybody but accept them the way they are.

The best way they taught me this was in their relationship with their neighours. A slightly … eccentric family. Endless chatterbugs, annoying like no others and obtrusive at times. Yet my grandparents don’t show any annoyance or ignore that family. They taught me that I should respect others – unless they didn’t respect me, either.

Forgive – others and yourself.

Grandparents are some of the least resentful people in our lives. The times we forget to call them back. The times we refuse to let them hug or kiss us during our too-cool-for-everything teenager years. When we approach them again they’ll welcome us back and offer help regardless of what happened. And that’s what they’re conveying to us, too. Just like the fact that we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about mistakes from the past.

I could go on endlessly but I think you caught my drift already and can think of additional ones. Life’s biggest lessons aren’t part of any school’s curriculum. We learn them from the people in ours lives. Especially those we love and who love us.

Another couple of warm socks in the make.

Grandma’s handy work: Another couple of warm socks in the make.

**At first I was also going to include what my grandparents taught me about the relationship with food and exercise is a wholly different chapter for another day …

Happiness-inducing today: The fact that while it’d been really cold in the morning by the time I headed out for a walk in my lunch break it had cleared up and I was greeted by sunshine.

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Your turn: Brag/gush/ sing about your grandparents and tell me what you learned from them.

Good good links #54

This is somewhat embarrassing. I mixed up my numbers and actually rounded out my good good links #52 on August 17th already – not last week. In fact, I noticed my fault when sharing on Twitter already but didn’t want to embarrass myself. Which makes no sense given I’m doing it now but isn’t committing to your mistakes a strength?? (:

Even though by the time you read I’ll be without internet I still happened upon some share-worthy posts before moving. So today’s good good links might be quite some fewer than usual but no less amazing. Also, I got notice I might actually get a visit from my new cable company way sooner than expected and be back online by the end of next week already! Keep your fingers crossed for me and now: enjoy the reads!

Good good links

Good good [fo0d for thought]

I May Be Wrong, But … via Absurd, She Said

Saying what you want to say without caveats and hidden insecurity: Do you? I can relate to doing it – even though it’s annoying.

Do You Really Need to Cut Out Certain Foods? via Brittany Lesser

Dealing with stomach woes? Figure them out yourself the slow way instead of aimlessly cutting out any popular suspects.

My take on the Ice Bucket Challenge via Khushboo’s Blog

No matter what’s their individual stance on it: the challenge has gotten people talking about more than just one important issue.

 

 

Good good [adivice and inspiration]

Walking is a workout via the Real Life RD

“Miles are miles whether you’re walking or running or jogging or skipping” <- This. Don’t talk your walk down being no exercise.

Five Hacks To Boost Body Confidence via An Avocado a Day

Ways to forgeo self-critical thoughts or turn them around to a positive. Like turning the unhappiness you feel about your own ‘flaws’ into anger towards the media promoting an unachievable image of beauty.

Blogging

from hobby to job – taking your blog to the next level via Running with Spoons

Awesome advice on how to groom and grow your blog to bring it a professional level.

26 Famous (And Free!) Fonts You’ll Want To Start Using Immediately via Huffington Post

Writing in Disney font?! Yes, please.

 

Good good [posts to make you smile]

How to Gain Weight and Marinate People via Commitness to Fitness

Want to gain weight? A five-step-program for guaranteed success. “Lesson 5: Bowls are for football”

 

 

Good good [food]

Strawberry Quinoa Oatmeal Bars via Hummusapien

Strawberry’s my [favourite] jam as would these bars be. All the deliciousness going on in there!

Coconut Butter Cups via Katalyst Health

We all know coconut and peanut butter are great on their own – and even better when they’re together.

Spaghetti with Spicy Lentil Sauce via vegelicacy

A great vegan spin on classic bolognese for the next pasta party.

Baked Spaghetti with Cashew Cheese via One Ingredient Chef

No words. Or: how can I get a plate of this to appear in front of me stat??

 

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Past [and] perfect – [Spill it Sundays Flashback edition II]

If you’ve been around for a while you know I like to share my favourite posts from all around the web every week. Needless to say I was all up for the idea when Arman announced we were allowed – or even encouraged?! – to give a shout-out to other bloggers in this week’s edition of Spill it Sundays. Get ready for the shortest post I’ve ever written – maybe a welcome break from my usual wordiness if you’re not a fan of that?? (: – because these posts can truly all stand for themselves. They’re a blast from the past and perfect.

I’ll see you tomorrow for the weekly round of good good links! Enoy the weekend!

Spill-it-Sunday-option-2-1

These are in no particular order because I like all of them just as much for specific reasons each.

#1 Pseudo-Recovery via Better with Sprinkles

This post is one I keep going back to whenever I feel stuck in recovery and need either a) a kick in the butt or b) the reassurance that – no matter how long it takes – full recovery is possible. It takes time and the mindset plays a huge role

 

#2 You’re Allowed to Love Your Body via Snack Therapy

There are a million things I could say about this post but Carly does it best herself already.  Go read this post – and all others by her – and then spread the self-love.

#3 Guilt vs. Goal – this is MY style via Swiss Fit Chick

If you’ve ever been judged, accused of having an ED or not being on your way to recovery/ recovered this post will resonate with you. Choosing a healthy lifestyle isn’t necessarily a sign of a disorder and only you know why you live in a certain way. Live and let others live.

 

Happiness-inducing today: The country bumpkin in me coming out and needing to carress two horses in front of a wedding carriage standing in front of  a church. Some days I miss living in the countryside and riding horses a lot.

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Have you read any of the posts above? Did they resonate with you?

Are there any posts from the past you keep getting back to for advice or inspiration?

wedding carriage

Good good links #45

Before we get into the great posts I happened upon this week I’d like to say thanks to everybody who chimed in on Thursday. That’s just what I like about the blogging community: having all kinds of different people chime in on a topic, share their experiences and opinions. And because we talked about what’s important beyond food and exercise which will be included in this round-up of links, too: here’s me spilling some musings on family, childhood and other random tibits about me. And now onto some truly good links from the week.

Happy Sunday!

Good good links

 

Good good [food for thought]

Why health claims and symbols aren’t health promoting via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

The best kind of food is the one coming without a label and prepared at home. Follow your gut instinct not misleading symbols on a package.

why i won’t be working for a bikini body this summer. via Running with Spoons

Feeling good about yourself matters most: “Weight and pant size are too flimsy a thing to tie your happiness up into”

Does Your Environment Support Who You Want To Be? via Jamie Mendell

We can choose to eliminate what gets us down and create an environment to feel good in.

Why We Need To Stop Talking About What Women Are Eating via BuzzFeed

 Live and let others live. Judging others’ choices – healthy or not – is unnecessary and doesn’t make either side feel better.

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

Yet Another Great Reason to Stop Comparing Your Eating Habits to Other People’s via Well-Intentioned

Because you really never know what the other person eats when you’re not around. Focus on yourself only and what you feel like eating.

food guilt via the real life RD

It’s when we stop feeling bad about eating a little more [indulgent food] that we get to a healthy relationship with food in general.

Healthy on holiday via Khushboo’s Blog

When in Rome… Vacations are the time to enjoy new foods and be more concerned with taking in all sights than controlling your intake.

I Use To Want To Be Skinny. via Eats from the Oil Patch

 Skinny isn’t equivalent with happy and that’s what the goal should be.

A Woman Paid Photoshop Pros In 25 Countries To Make Her “Beautiful”  [two links] via Mind Body Green

Proof that true beauty is really in the eye of the beholder – worth clicking through all images and deciding which one you’d deem ‘beautiful’.

7 Signs You Should Eat A Burger, Fries, & Even Ice Cream via Lifting Revolution

I’m not into the concept of ‘cheat days’  but even if none of those fit for you: life’s too short to go without those delicious indulgences.

7 Things Only Chronic Overthinkers Will Understand via Huffington Post

Glimpses into an overthinkers mind. Reading this would be almost hilarious if it wasn’t so accurate for myself, too.

 

Why You Should Close All of Your Tabs (Except This One) via The Muse

A random one but nonetheless addressing a well-known [to me and probably you, too] problem.

25 Free Apps That Are Making The World A Better Place via BuzzFeed

Donations for good causes, raising awareness and letting you know how to do good every day: apps can be more than just fun games.

 

Exercise

Let’s Go For a Walk! via hello healthy eating

Further proof that high intensity workouts aren’t the only way to experience health benefits from exercise.

 

Good good [posts to make you smile]

Stupid Weight Loss Tips via Snack Therapy

Because you’re clearly going to ignore the chocolate on the counter if the fridge is packed with cut-up carrots.

35 Surprisingly Useful Websites You Never Knew You Needed via BuzzFeed

Coffee addicts: ignore the first. Everyone: be aware of #25’s addictive potential and jump back to #10 – the best.

21 Secrets Runners Won’t Tell You via BuzzFeed

Aren’t runners a fabulously odd group of people?!

 

Good good [food]

Vegan Chocolate Pudding with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream via The Cake Merchant

If this doesn’t get you drooling you’re either allergic to PB or … I’m at a loss.

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream via The Lemon Bowl

Simple ingredients and quick to prepare without an ice cream maker: another win for the chocolate + peanut butter combination.

23 Healthy And Easy Breakfasts Your Kids Will Love via BuzzFeed

Who says only children were keen on Breakfast Popsicles or Almond Butter and Banana Open Sandwiches (!)??

Frozen Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites via Fit Foodie Finds

You’re not actually surprised to see those here?! They’re cookie dough bites for heaven’s sake!

Chickpea Polenta Breakfast Scramble (vegan) via Clean Eating Veggie Girl

I’m not the hugest fan of tofu scramble but a chickpea-obsessed so this version looks like a great alternative.

Roasted Vegetable + Chickpea Bowl with Cilantro Cashew Cream via Naturally Ella

A grain, a [lot of] green, a bean – the trio for success plus cashew cream: perfect.

Portobello Philly Cheese Steak Bowl via Keepin‘ It Kind

Not like I’d ever had ‘real’ Philly Cheese Steak but if it’s anything like this bowl it has to be seriously awesome.

 

Happiness inducing today: Chatting with a random girl at the gym.

 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Which posts made you think, smile or got you hungry this week?

 

Good good links #40

Good morning/ afternoon/ evening! Time difference is way too confusing for me so I’m taking the easy route in saying hi here. Time differences or not, though, Sunday marks the end of the week everywhere in the world and is a great day to share some favourite reads from the past seven days. That being said: here they are!

Good good links

 

Good good [food for thought]

Jonesin’ for Likes: Staying Sane on the Internet via Wit & Delight

Relying too much on outside approval in the form of likes and followers doesn’t make us happier – real life and friends do.

 Ask via Long Drive Journey

You don’t always need to have everything figured out already. If you need some help: ask.

Diet Myths We Need to Stop Believing via The Blonde Vegan

Not eating past a certain time, carbs are the devil and one lifestyle works for everyone – not.

Dreaming of the Perfect Beach Body? Let it Go… via Mindful Meals

“There’s no rules saying you have to have a flat stomach to wear a bikini and have fun on the beach.” <- this.

Good good [advice and inspiration]

Trying to kick the habit of being busy via Sprouts ‚n‘ Squats

What’s on your to-do list? Overcoming the guilt of what you ‘should’ do versus what you actually want to do.

10 Things Organized People Do Every Day via Mind Body Green

 Rituals, not postponing daily chores and having just one to-do list can help to stay on top of the game at all times.

We ALL Need to Rest! via The Lyons’ Share

Whether it’s a real vacation, taking a walk or reading a book instead of rushing around: we all deserve breaks in between.

 

Reminders For Self Love and Body Peace via A Dash of Meg

“Everything you need is already inside of you”

You May Not Be the Best and That’s Okay via Fiterazzi

Comparison doesn’t need to be the thief of joy if used in the right way. You might be somebody’s inspiration, too.

This Woman Will Change How You See “Before” and “After” Weight Loss Pics Forever via Cosmopolitan

Because giving birth is a true sign of being a woman – not abs of steel.

 

 

Blogging

Social Media for Newbie Bloggers {Part 1} via The Healthy Maven

Incorporating social media is key to building your blog and a relationship with readers.

 

Good good [things to make you smile]

Ways I Am Not Your Typical Healthy Living Blogger via Clean Eats Fast Feets

There’s no need to fit in all of the time – being the ‘odd one out’ has its benefit: staying true to yourself.

9-Year-Old Boy Created A No-Kill Animal Shelter In His Garage via Bored Panda

Can I get an ‘aawwww’? Children really are the better adults.

 

Good good [food]

Boozy Chocolate Ice Cream via Produce on Parade

 Excuse me while I go grab a piece of chocolate and mourn leaving my ice cream maker at my parents’.

Super Seed Chocolate via Miss Irina

Homemade [raw] chocolate using only three main ingredients and allowing for millions of add-in options.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Salad via Girl makes Food

Sometimes simple combinations are the best. Are you sensing a [chocolate] theme here?!

Rhubarb Recipes (that are not pies!) via Naturally Ella

Enchiladas, salsa and curried lentils – all with rhubarb and all intriguing.

Roasted, Easy, Herby Spiralized Vegetables + 13 More Spiralized Recipes via Fit Foodie Finds

And this is why I need to get a spiralizer. Is it Christmas/ my birthday/… yet???

Pear Noodle Yogurt Parfaits with Chobani via Inspiralized

Fruit noodles?! I –really- need a spiralizer. [Also linked in the post above but these deserved a special mention.]

Creamy Potato Kale Soup via Pinch of Yum

Good to know I’m not the only one craving potato soup during the warmer months still. Comfort in a bowl? Yes, please.

 

Happiness inducing today: A letter from my grandma – one of the few people in my life still writing them regularly.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

What were your favourite posts from the week?

How are you going to spend today?