Several months ago I wrote a post about how I was a secret perfectionist. I wrote about my desire to be a perfect mother and some of those words I wrote are still true. I’m hard on myself and I need to practice more self-compassion.
However, I’m realizing that my issue isn’t with perfectionism. It is with control.
The situation doesn’t have to be in perfect as long as I’m in control of it.
I LOVE to be in control. My family calls me the cruise director. A marriage counselor once looked at me and stated matter-of-factly, “Well, you clearly steer the ship.” Friends often put me in charge of projects and activities. Even my kids will tell you, mommy is in charge.
Perhaps it comes from being an only child. I had complete and total control of my environment. No siblings messing with my stuff. No competing agendas or priorities. I wasn’t necessarily the center of my parents’ world but I was most certainly the center of my own.
You would think being married for twelve years and parenting for six would have loosened my death grip, but no. If I can be, I still want to be in control.
When I feel out of control is when I suffer the most. When I lost the baby. When I’m taking care of a baby. When I’m exhausted. When people are being mean or unfair.
When something is not going my way and I can’t do a DAMN thing about it.
I hate it. I feel powerless and vulnerable and stuck. My word of the year is vairagya. It is Sanskrit for non-attachment. The idea that you don’t become attached emotionally to things you can’t control.
Clearly, the universe is teaching me the first lesson of that which is “Hey, Sarah, YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING.”
And there is nothing I can do about it… which even as I type those words makes me a little nauseous. It's easier to cede control while on vacation when I have unlimited free time and babysitters and ocean waves to inspire me.
Alas, I can't stay here forever and I can already feel myself ramping up for the return to real life. I can feel the part of my brain that manages and schedules and prioritizes and CONTROLS getting louder and louder the closer we get to departure.
I don't know how to quiet that voice and keep the calm I've found over these past few days. I know writing and exercising and meditating are all a part of the equation.
But I also know that some days won't go as I planned and there will be LOTS of things I can't control either way.
And instead of feeling like that is a challenge to be tackled maybe I need to see it as a reality to be accepted.