What can you control?

One of my greatest weaknesses is worrying about things out of my control. It couples with my lack of patience, which has always been a weakness for me. I pride myself on being organized, detailed, efficient and punctual. When I was younger, I was that kid who packed my backpack with my school supplies a whole two weeks before the first day, and had my outfit chosen three nights early. I would write endless lits of things I wanted to do and eat when I visited my family in Louisiana, and I made abundant notes in my school planner all through college. To this day, I watch clocks as if I got paid to be a timekeeper, I still make multiple to-do lists, and I go so far as to rehearse conversations and plan outings down to the minute.

Yes, I’m anal. I see this part of me as a strength in a way. I think being organized and punctual is a good thing, especially in a work environment. However, I let it go to far when I have the same expectations for myself for others. As a kid, I had a strict bath time and bedtime. I had to get chores done before play on Saturday mornings, and nothing else could be considered on weeknights until my homework was done. But it’s not my parents’ fault. Sure they were strict about some things, but now, it’s on me. One of the things I try to work on is not obsessing over things out of my control- like people showing up late, calling late, or not telling me something when I want to hear it. There are strengths we have that can turn into weaknesses if we aren’t careful, and they end up driving us crazy.

The thing to remember is that you can’t control anything but yourself. You can be on time or late, you can be organized or messy, and you can be nice or a jerk. But you can’t control how others act. You can guide them and advise them and give hints, and you can ask them for things. But most of the time, they’ll do what they want to do, on their terms. I learned this with my boyfriend. You already know how I am. He can be the opposite sometimes. He puts things off, waits until the last minute, and cleans when he feels it’s dirty. If it’s not life and death, and if he still has a day to get it done, he’ll wait until the last day. And that’s just how he works, and so far, it’s worked for him. It drives me crazy, but all I can do is what I said before: give guidance, advice and hints. But if he doesn’t follow that, oh well, it’s his life. The only time it should matter is when it literally affects me, and it alters my life enough for me to have a role in it.

That all being said, I’m going to try to take it easy for awhile and let things get out of control…


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