True Life: I’m a Control Freak

There is comfort in having a pretty good idea of what your future looks like. I love keeping my calendar up to date. I plan trips months in advance. I’ve had my life planned out based on the presidential election cycle since 2000. I am the opposite of spontaneous.

When life is stressful or it seems like everything is up in the air, I grasp at straws to find one thing, anything, that I can feel like I control.

As the boy continues looking for a job, I can’t help but be panicked when I don’t know what the next few months will look like. Will he be in Philadelphia? Will we continue to be long distance? How much longer? Will he be even further away than he is now?

The boy reminds me not to wish away the next couple months until we know where he’ll be working. Enjoy spring in Philadelphia. Make new friends. Get to know old friends better. Go to museums. Run outside. Go for long bike rides on the Schuykill River Trail.

It’s easy to tell a control freak to relax, to let things play out, to just focus on today. But that’s not really how it works. The anxiety will continue to bubble under the surface while I cling to anything that can give me a sense of control.

This week I’m challenging myself to find things that only I can control: my attitude and my happiness. So I’m seeking opportunities that allow me to do just that: Bringing snacks to my coworkers. going for daily runs. Racing other runners up the Ben Franklin Bridge. Beating them. Reconnecting with my best friends. Seeking yoga as mental and physical relief. Volunteering. Going to the animal shelter. Wearing spring clothes and no jacket. Challenging myself to plan social activities. Spending hours “with” the boy over Skype.

It’s a small step. But it’s forcing me to focus on the moment, on today, and letting me focus on bringing joy to others and fulfillment to myself – even if those are the only things I can control.

You have a few things,
The Face, which can give a smile;
Mouth: you can praise or comfort others;
The Heart: it can open up to others;
Eyes: who can look the other with the eyes of goodness;
Body: which can be used to help others.