In case you didn’t know, I’m a control freak. Ask my husband, my girlfriend, my family, hell ask anyone – there is no denying that there is nothing I relish more than control, except maybe organization, well let’s be honest it might be a close tie. Anyway what it comes down to is that I need systems and structure to function the best. My lists have lists. And yet I function in a lifestyle that gives me the least amount of control humanly possible.
I grew up in a home with a father who is a railroad engineer. This mean that he could go to work at any time 24/7 365, no schedule, no days off, no consistency. As I grew older it began to bother me a lot more. No planned family events, no guarantee of anything. Despite my discontent it prepared me for the life of a soldier’s wife another lifestyle with little to no guarantees or schedules.
So, how do I cope with it? How do I maintain my sanity and my deep seeded need for control in an environment so out of my control? And most of all, why do I do it?
Well- the easy answer is adaption. I have learned the importance and the value in being adaptable.
Things won’t every be exactly how I want them: I may not like that fact but that doesn’t make it any less true. Not everything I go to will go perfectly smoothly, start on time, be organized the way I would like, or be full of people I will enjoy. Now, I can be cranky about that and throw a tantrum, or I can accept the reality of life which is that people are all different and I cannot compel someone to act or react as I do. Trying would be pointless and being angry about it is a ridiculous and miserable way to live, for you and for everyone that has to be around you.
WHY? Why do I take this outlook? Because it’s the only way to have a successful life. If I cannot be adaptable I teach my children that they can’t either. I set them up for failure by allowing them to think everything caters to them when that just is not the case. If we are out somewhere and it’s past their bed time and they are tired and melting down, I validate and acknowledge that, but that doesn’t mean we will always drop what we are doing and get them home, instead we teach them how to manage their behavior. I help them settle down where we are, or hold/comfort them, we converse about it because the reality is we can’t and won’t always leave the moment they have a behavior, or when I am ready to have a behavior for that matter, and it’s important to learn how to properly handle that without a fit or tantrum, from anyone.
It’s not easy to relinquish control and it’s not easy to always let things go, but I try my best to maintain a balance. I focus at home on the things I can control. ME. I can control how I react to situations, how I organize my home, meals, activities, routines and the like. Maintaining the control and organization in those aspects helps me accept the lack of control in other avenues. This is a lot easier the days SCM is away because I don’t have to share my control within my house routine but when he is home I am trying hard to be better at relinquishing house control and exercising some more compromise.
Being a control freak is hard and it has it’s ups and downs but taking the constant time and effort to remember that it isn’t all about you is an important part of a healthy, functioning life where people don’t want to strangle you because your attitude sucks. So be adaptable, it’s okay. Start small but you can do it!!