A note from our President
JULIE MEER HARNICK
Dear LWV members and friends,
Baby steps and managing expectations. These are my resolutions for 2019.
We’ve addressed the immensity of what we feel lies ahead. We feel the burden of the last two years of mismanagement, immorality, and falsity in our elected leadership. And it feels overwhelming. So much so we get stuck.
We can take a lesson from psychotherapy and trauma. An American Red Cross survey asked trauma victims what was the one intervention that was most helpful to them right after a disaster. By far the thing mentioned most often was being given a cup of coffee by an aid worker.
It wasn’t something spectacular; just a hopeful sign that normal life goes on. That is what I’m asking you to do- focus on one thing at a time, take one action at a time.
Yes, it sucks.
And as Dory repeats over and over in the film Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming.” Don’t be defeated by fear and the enormity of the tasks ahead, just do one thing at a time…take baby steps toward your personal goals and our shared League goals.
The next thing is to manage my expectations. I really dislike this. I’ve been told that if I want to be happy I need to lower my expectations. If I don’t look forward to a great vacation, I won’t ever be disappointed. It feels so wrong for me to lower my expectations, and yet all studies show that lowering your expectations leads to greater happiness and contentment. But lowering my expectations is hard because one of my core values is continued self-improvement. I can vacillate between feeling crushed and deflated when I can’t live up to my exceedingly high expectations of myself and resetting my brain to have lower expectations and not become a sloth. It’s a tightrope walk.
Who would have thought that expectation management could be the key to life?
I’m going to try to keep my expectations of myself and others in check and work on process-oriented goals that keep the focus on doing the next right thing and don’t depend on an outcome that I may not be able to control.
I tell you what, I’ll lower my expectations of you if you lower your expectations of me. But let’s focus on the small actions, the baby steps we can take to move ourselves and our democracy forward!
Bigger goals aren’t always better goals.