I am a planner and a worrier. I am a perfectionist and a control freak. Part of this may be my natural born tendencies. Part of it is definitely because I was raised by a perfectionistic planner / worrier. (Spell check does not like perfectionistic – but for once I’m going to “chill” and let that go – I’ve made up a new word, I guess. See, I am already taking to heart my post from yesterday and being more imaginative!). I tease my mother at times and tell her she is OCD about being OCD. I say it as a joke, but there is some truth in it. And I did not fall very far from that tree myself. (Okay, okay – I’m like right at the base of that tree’s trunk!)
My husband is pretty laid back and throughout our relationship I’ve found that his chill attitude just stresses me out more. When he asks me why I am freaking out my response is that because he is not worried, I need to worry for the both of us. This is something I also say jokingly, but a part of me really feels it’s necessary. Apparently in my reality, each situation calls for a certain amount of worry and I’m the one responsible for picking up the slack when he drops the ball.
However, I’m starting to see the truth to his point of view. I guess that is what over 20 years of marriage will do to you. They start to rub off on you after a time.
I will often have a premonition of something that is going to happen to us – some disaster or negative feeling that things are not going to work out for the best. These get me all worked up and stressed out. And my poor husband then has to deal with my freak outs. But he has pointed out two things to me which are FINALLY starting to sink in.
- My premonitions and worries about all the things that could go wrong rarely if ever actually happen. And the “bad” things that do happen are never to the extent I’ve imagined. Bottom line – it is never the end of the world.
- Even if they do happen, most of the time me freaking out and worrying will do absolutely NOTHING to change the outcome. And once again – it is never the end of the world.
I am NOT in control as much as I would like to think I am. And that is what all the worrying and freaking out is tied to – me thinking that I am in control and must remain in control. So why waste all the time and energy doing something that gives me no benefit or good results? I know in the business world this is not where you want to focus your time and efforts – so why do I do it in my personal life?
Now, don’t get me wrong. This is not an easy thing to just set aside and change. It is not like I can just wake up one day and decide I’m not going to worry anymore and admit I don’t have control over everything in the my life. It is a daily process. I have to wake up each and every day and make this decision. And usually I have to constantly remind myself throughout the day as well.
In the end though, I’m slowly letting go and it is getting easier for me to recognize what things are in my control (very few things I’m finding) and which things are not. I’m learning day by day and moment by moment, that worrying is not giving me any benefit whatsoever at all. In fact, it is doing just the opposite – it ages me (physically, mentally and emotionally) and steals my joy. It is a hard lesson to be learning at my age, but it is one that I hope will prolong my life and bring a bit more happiness into it. This is definitely something worth giving up! And along with all the other things I’m finally learning now that I’m in my 40’s – it is My CHOICE!! I just have to make up my mind and do it!