Monday, December 7, 2009

Message From A Recovering Control Freak.

I knew I had control issues when I grabbed the steering wheel from my boss last year. We were on our way to a fun-filled trip to Lutsen. The drive to get there wasn't so much fun. It was snowing, which made me a little on-edge. We're not talking delicate little flakes here, it was more like man-made snowballs were catapulted from sky. I could fucking hear them coming. Each flake crashing against the car. Boom! Shit. Boom! What the hell? Boom! Did that one dent the fucking door??

I was jumping all over the place, gnawing my fingernails off, and white-knuckling the door handle. I was trying to be a good little employee and not mention the fact that the grim reapor was sitting in the back seat waiting for a crash.

My boss, on the other hand, was seaching for radio stations, changing cd's, and cracking jokes. I wasn't laughing. He was passing cars as if it was 75 degrees and sunny and we were out for a casual drive in our Sunday's Best after church. He kept talking and looking over at me. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to tell him what to do because there was no way we were getting to Lutsen without being zipped up in a body bag first.

I said, "Hey, you watch the road. You're weaving all over the place and passing cars like we're on deadline. I don't give a shit if we don't get there until midnight, I just want to be alive. What? What's with the face, what is so funny?"

He laughed and said, "You have control issues."

I started to contemplate his statement when I noticed (or had the delusion) that we were going to get clipped by another car. I reached over, scolded him like a child, and grabbed the steering wheel and pulled us back to safety (or to "Psycho-ville" as my boss would describe it).

Shit. Maybe he's right. I grab the steering wheel all the time from my husband. I sat back and realized all the other stunts I pull: I introduce myself to pilots and ask if they're hungover with the shakes and remind them that we need a steady hand at the wheel. And shit, I really do correct people's grammar when they're speaking. And I like to lead conversations so I have control over the topics we discuss. And, and, and...the list goes on.

But it can't be that bad. Can it? Maybe I just like to be the person of authority that has voice and veto power over everything that happens in my life.

Maybe I just have control issues.

That happened a year ago. Since then, I've learned to give it a rest already. I haven't grabbed the wheel from my husband since that insightful Lutsen trip. And I kind of like sitting back and enjoying the ride. Even when it's snowing.

Being in control isn't about safety, it's about insecurity and lack of trust. Trust that other people do have my best interest at heart and good things will happen even without my insufferable control.

I'm happy to report that everyone is healthy, happy, and safe without me spinning the earth and all its wonders on my shoulders. And truly, better things have happened without my control. Things manifest at a higher level when I don't try to plan, control, and police every step and movement. My tiny efforts at control actually limited my dreams because I couldn't conceive the vastness of opportunity.

I used to be the girl that sat down at the dinner table of life banging my fork and knife yelling, "Where's the fucking meal already? It's been 2.3 minutes! It's late!" It was exhausting. Now I pull up a chair and stay a while. I enjoy the other guests sitting with me. Their grammar has no effect on me because I'm listening to their hearts now instead of their words. And while I have no idea what's on the menu, I know it's all good for me.

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