Saturday, November 17, 2007

Control

I have a control problem. I want to be in control-I want things to be how I envision them. But I also want someone to take care of things for me. I've let my husband take care of certain things (by let I mean I allowed myself to let go of being in control) and then ended up frustrated because they didn't turn out how I wanted them to be. Yet I don't seem to have the...ability? stamina? discipline? to make things turn out how I want them. So I end up not taking any steps towards what I'd like to see at all.

There are some things I've been able to let go of. I finally stopped organizing our pots and pans in their drawer, because I was the only one putting them away so neatly, or in a certain order. And guess what, they still all fit in the drawer. It bugs me that the drawer is a mess, and I think it is more efficient to have it organized, but I am not irritated when Erik puts a pan where it 'doesn't belong' any more. Same for the dishwasher. I would often re-arrange what Erik loaded because I think my way is better, but I'm trying to let go of that. I mean, who cares how it is as long as they get clean, right? I have hard time watching Erik do laundry as well. But the reality is that the clothing ends up just as clean when it's sorted willy-nilly as it does when I sort according to my standards.

All of this ties into anxiety and perfectionism. I'm learning that two steps forward, one step back can result in progress, not failure. The journey is important too- who cares if things are the way I want them, if I have to be miserable getting there? Isn't it better to have a relaxed, fun day where things get part way accomplished? It's a hard lesson, and it isn't easy for me to take baby steps. I'm figuring out how to sit with my feelings when I feel uncomfortable inside, instead of freaking out. Wish me luck!

5 comments:

BipolarLawyerCook said...

This is so my problem, too. Learning not to fight about stuff that really doesn't matter in the end, even though there is a more efficient/better way to do it along the way, is something I have to work at every day. Being a lawyer, and therefore being paid to criticize, doesn't make it any easier. : )

Misty said...

Me too... (we need a support group!) With my husband being gone these past few months, it's been easier but now that he is headed home for the holiday I find myself anxious...

And I find myself also certain that the holiday will go the way I am planning it to go...

It's amazing how natural, and yet stressful this is...

adena said...

yes, yes, yes...I, too, am a control freak, especially with household stuff. my husband rarely does kitchen stuff, but when he does...why does he have to put everything away in places where I can't find it? argh! and when he folds clothes... the wrinkles...and would he ever wash the floor? not if it were crusty and filthy...

Elsita said...

I was more like that before I had my children. I wanted everything to be perfect and in fact everything was just perfect at home, in my studio etc. Because I spent lots of time organizing and cleaning up.... BUT THEN I had my first baby and I was left with a deep post-partum depression. It was sooo hard not to be able to take care of things including myself, I felt miserable. One day I was so mad at my husband that I told him something horrible and I asked him to go away!!!! He went out with the baby for a walk but before that he left me a little note on the kitchen table saying: I love you :) Can you believe that this was the beginning of the cure to my problem? Somehow I realized that I WAS WRONG about sooo many things and that I was so lucky to have such an understanding husband. I think that that little note was a magic pill. After that I started recovering and I was pretty OK with not having a perfect home etc. Now the second magic pill was when we found out that our son Diego was Autistic (he is two now). This really changed everything. Now I think that life is so short in the end, we are all going to die and I don't want to spend my life worrying about little things. Now I only worry about the PEOPLE in my family and not about the objects or the spaces or anything like that. When my husband leaves the box of cereal in the wrong place instead of getting mad at him I think: poor Bill, he works so hard (which is so true) I should tell him something nice and then I do it. So the bottom line is: Pay attention to the people in your life and to yourself because the rest is nothing.

Suna said...

Yeah, need a support group. When I found all sorts of storage items in with the glassware, I just gave up. I guess it's good practice to let go of control of things that don't matter. And yes, Elsita, it's your family and those close to you who really matter.