I admit it. I am a Control Freak. I like order. I hate surprises and being blindsided and I believe that if I am prepared for anything life can throw at me I can survive all of it. I carry a Mary Poppins’ purse with anything you could possible need in an emergency. There is a mini first aid kit, dental floss, gum, mints, pocket sewing kit, girl’s hygiene supplies, pens, hair bands, multiple types of lip balm and countless other emergency supplies. (Although it was recently pointed out to me that I don’t have batteries and I need to rectify that oversight.) I was at my niece’s graduation party a few years ago and one of my cousins had forgotten her wet wipes. Not fun when you have to deal with a dirty diaper. AT told her to ask me as I always carry them in my purse. My cousin was confused. I don’t have kids. Why would I carry wet wipes? Well, just in case.
There is also my nearly urgent need for a schedule or itinerary, some kind of play by play guideline for my day, week, trip, free time. This makes me really good at my job running someone else's calendar. It can however be a bit of a problem in normal life. It took me years to learn to be flexible. When I was a kid I would melt down if our scheduled changed last minute. For so long, it was nearly impossible for me to bounce back from disappointment. I have begun to understand the connection between my nervousness/fear and my need for control. It is exponential. The more worried or afraid I am, the more I need to schedule and organize.
So how does a Control Freak learn to give up control? DRINKING! Just kidding… well only a little bit. My therapist introduced me to a life altering truth (as she so often does). We don’t actually have any control, only influence. I can’t control traffic, people’s reactions, or the fact that mosquito bites give me hives. But I can stock up on bug spray, use the WAZE app and remember to smile even when things aren’t going the way I envisioned. It all ends up being a funny story for the blog eventually.