Being a Cheerleader is HARD!

I was working hard today and failed.

I am a cheerleader. I get really excited about little things and I cheer out loud with laughter, excited chatter, smiles, jumping up and down and even dancing sometimes, encouraging and exciting my family. Yet sometimes I am the only one who is excited and I don’t get any reaction or connection and they just think I’m crazy.

This usually isn’t a problem because I am a little crazy. It just becomes a problem when I expect a reaction and for them to cheer along with me and then they don’t. When they choose to not share joy with me (the way I think they should in my head), I sometimes get frustrated, mad or sad, it just depends.

So I’ve been really into making breakfasts for my family these past two weeks and accommodating their special needs. This morning I made everyone breakfast, and my husband decided he had to rush out the door and couldn’t have breakfast today. I packaged it up to go and handed it to him to take with him, and he didn’t want it and I felt rejected. I am half Italian and I’ve been raised to feed my family and that it’s good for their health. I have a weird attachment to food and maybe it’s a girl thing, but I feel fulfilled when I feed my loved ones. It’s a way for me to provide for them and it’s an important part of the way I spend every day. So when he didn’t want my food, it wasn’t about the food. He didn’t want me (in my mind) and I know this is insane thinking but again, perfectly imperfectly I sometimes forget and connect food to love.  There was an expectation gap and I was feeling it all day. Luckily I got over myself and he understood why I felt so strongly, but geez, what a waste of breath!!

So my breakfast cheerleading event failed!

Last night was another food cheering fail. I had offered a homemade and delicious dinner to two of the males in my family and even offered to heat their plates. They both acted like I was bothering them because they were busy doing something else and they didn’t want to be bothered by my cheering for food again. And I was in a hurry as I had to be out the door again within 15 minutes. I don’t know why I have to take their “not interested in my meals” as something personal. They’re not trying to be mean; maybe they were just not thinking of eating at the time I interrupted them. I’m not making excuses for them and still think they could have cheered a little bit, but after giving it some space I realized that I was more excited than they were. That’s nothing new!

And then it happened again tonight with my son. I was excited to show him something that we had for him, and he was less than thrilled again by the request. He acted like it was no big deal (to me), and it was a BIG deal (again in my head and not necessarily his). Luckily this time, the expectation gap wasn’t about food, but the gap made me frustrated again.

I need to learn to let go and to not expect anyone to cheer the same way I do.  They cheer in their own ways and that’s okay.

I’ve learned that I have to manage my own expectations and try to align mine with those of others. I’m still practicing and this is hard!  But that, my friends, is the definition of happiness… when our expectations are in alignment with our reality. I want to keep cheering for that! Close the gap and live in the moment, peacefully with others, with ourselves, and expecting nothing less. I’ll keep on cheering, despite the challenges!

Life is good, right now!!

Life Cheerleader

As a child, I always wanted to be a cheerleader, but I wasn’t that coordinated and my dad didn’t want the same thing for me. So I waited and took a different path.

I love the energy and joy and dancing and celebrating that cheerleaders create. They energize a space and they look pretty and happy and they’re always smiling and people enjoy watching them jump up an down. Their spirit is contagious and they get other people to acknowledge and see the good and to shout it out in silly and fun ways.

Sometimes in my family I feel like I am a cheerleader, just not all that fancy. I like to lift people up and watch what everyone is doing and celebrate life and laugh and cheer.

I like to encourage each of us to follow our personal dreams and I like to get the rest of us to witness and see their gifts and talents and shout out loud. I like to be our family cheerleader. I want each of us to win and to be happy and successful at whatever “game” we choose, and I want us all to participate. One of our family mottos is to work hard and play hard. And celebrate this one beautiful life, everyday.

I like to lead my family in cheer as we watch each other perform the tasks of life  I like when the rest of us celebrate together and dance and play with me as I lead the cheer. Or if they want to lead, I love to follow along and chant out loud and smile and be silly.

I want the spirit of joy to be contagious and I want us all to feel the excitement that life has to offer all of us.

How about you? Are you the cheerleader in your family? Do you have a cheerleader?

Let’s go! Let’s go! L-E-T-S-G-O

Let’s go!