Thoughtful Thursday – Control Freak, Shmontrol Freak

I have to say, as an only child, I’m used to doing things by myself. As the “smart kid” in most of my group projects in school, well, you get the idea. I really don’t mind, either; I like the satisfaction that comes with completing a project, but sometimes it can be all too stressful and overwhelming. So, you learn to (gasp!) ask for help. It’s a huge step. For me, it came when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. There are physical limitations to what I can do, and I had to learn to ask for help and mean it. To be grateful for the help that other people gave me, even though I was frustrated I couldn’t do it myself, or if they didn’t do something the way I would have done it. In short, you learn to get over yourself.

I’ve also learned that when other people let me down, or there’s no one else around to lend a helping hand, I’ve always got God, and God doesn’t mind if the dirty dishes pile up in the sink for a few days. It’s completely counterintuitive to me to accept the mess that I just can’t clean up right now, but isn’t that life? Aren’t there always going to be messes that we just can’t clean up right now? There will always be something that takes priority over those messes, anyway. For example, enjoying a restful afternoon with my husband is so much more important than making sure the laundry is done. (You see, we make our own soap, so if you want to do laundry, and we’re out of soap, you’ve gotta make the soap before you load the washer. Not that it’s that complicated, but I’d rather be cuddling.)

With the vendor show and the rest of the festival in about 2 weeks – and Thanksgiving somewhere in between – those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety have started to creep back up. So, sometimes, I just have to make myself sit back and do NOTHING. Scary, isn’t it? No matter how hard I try to get people to volunteer, or worry about who’s going to run games at the carnival, or, better yet, where we’re going to come up with all of the carnival games, it won’t change the big picture: we’re going to have a massive event that people will show up for and have fun with, that may or may not be successful. And that’s okay. The reality is, when we went to have dinner with our friends Shawn and Christy last night, a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. We found our carnival games! I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but Shawn is a Scout leader, and has access to all kinds of games and activities we can use. So, by surrendering to a relaxing evening with friends, and not worrying about my looming responsibilities, a major item was checked off my checklist, and I don’t even have to do the heavy lifting! 

So, if you identify with what I’m saying, relax. Take baby steps, and ask for help. Give it up to God. You’re only in control of your own choices – not other people, and not situations that are obviously beyond your control. Control freak? Shmontrol freak.

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