Thursday, June 01, 2006

control issues

"When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps." - Confucious

This morning I posted a poem by Shel Silverstein about running the world. I feel like I need to write a little bit more about my reasons for choosing it. Last night Mark made some funny comment about me being 'in control.' My response to what he'd said shocked me. I said something to the effect of, "No. I pretend to be in control, I want to be in control, but in fact I am completely not in control." It doesn't sound like anything written here, but it hit me really really hard.

I am a bit of a control freak. I am a real worrier. I'm the girl who needs to be at the airport 4 hours early. Not only that but I usually know which desk I need to go to for check in. I have to check that the doors are locked before I go to bed, and I drive Mark crazy asking what we are going to have for dinner hours (sometimes a whole day) before any normal person would want to know. I need to know what's going on. I need to feel like I am in control.

But there's more to the story. If I need control so badly, why is it that I can't stick to a healthy eating plan? Why is it so darn hard to get up in the morning and go for a run? Why can't I sit at a desk and get some writing done? Why do I put off doing laundry until it is climbing out of the hamper? Why does it take me so long to respond to email? What is wrong with me??

Why do we pick and choose the things that we can control? Why can we make ourselves do some things and not others? Why are we so hard on ourselves over the small things we aren't doing when we are doing so many other things well? How can we learn to be gentle with ourselves without adding even more stress? How can I learn to be more in control of the important things and to let the other things go?

Sigh. Sorry, another big question!

P.S. Further to my "I'd like to move it, move it" post - my Race is on Sunday! Wish me luck!!

12 comments:

Susannah said...

Meg, honey, you're talking my language here - control freak, perfectionist yet world-class procrastinator - that would be me, nice to meet you :-) i think we'll have lots to talk about on the 16th!!

and good luck with the run - you go girl
sx

la vie en rose said...

wow girl! you've asked some doozies today...which is wonderful because it gets my mind spinning and thinking and looking at myself and i need that. i wish i had an answer for you. i've been sitting here thinking about the things i try to control vs. the things i'd like to control and what the things in each of those two categories have in common as far as emotional/spiritual needs hoping that maybe that might lead me to some revelation that i've never come to before and it hasn't. in other words what need does the controling meet and what pay off does the resistance give me. hmmmmm... i'm going to be thinking about this for some time...

deirdre said...

Have you been following me around? I always wish I could be more relaxed about some things and more disciplined about others.

kerry said...

control is such an involved topic... thanks for getting me to think about my relationship with it in a new light. i wish you gentleness with yourself.

Colorsonmymind said...

LOL-Ahhh how has it taken so long to come across you. This post-the first I have read- all I could do was giggle and say-that is soooo me.

It is so nice to "meet" you!

Bohemian Girl said...

oh
my
gawd...

scary how much this sounds like me. and funny how others are saying the same. are these common traits in bloggers? *giggle*

i hope we all find the answers together because i have no clue why i do these things either!

you rock.

xoxo,
boho

chest of drawers said...

I don´t have the answers either...all I know is that by concentrating on all that´s good and being more gentle with myself, I feel better. You have to accept yourself, just as you are, love yourself the way we love you, control personality and all - you are OK!

liz elayne said...

your race is sunday?? wow! good luck my dear...

i am avoiding trying to answer the big questions here because if i avoid it maybe i won't have to look at the fact that i have major control issues myself...major.

M said...

This is so me as well!! I spend so much time worrying about things I have absolutely no control over that I don't have enough energy to control the things I can!
Good luck on Sunday, you can do it!! I'll be thinking of you!

Maggie said...

This is such a poignant post, and hits on a lot of things I've been thinking about recently as well. Thanks for vocalizing it and giving me more food for thought. Good luck on Sunday! xo

Becca said...

When I was 30-something, I was just like you. Had to be in control at all times - of everything and everyone in my little sphere. Now that I'm 50, I find it a lot easier to throttle back on the control issues as related to everyone else, and in doing so I have a lot more energy to control issues in my own life - like making time to exercise, and write. I've also given myself permission to let some of the small stuff go-who cares if the laundry piles up until you're down to your last pair of undies? If you've been doing important things that you love, like running or writing, that's what really matters.

Good luck as you run all your races!

Caroline said...

being me in this situation I'd ask what message I'm sending myself by wanting to control the things I do and by failing to control the things I'd like to but don't...

but being me and not you I can't say what the answer is