Thursday, January 22, 2009


The healing process: it's proceeding in a three-steps-forward-two-steps-back kind of way, but it's proceeding.

I ran out of patience with being sick and stuck in the house around two days ago.  Before that I was on my best behaviour, sighing only ever so slightly as I reclined on the couch with my tissues and lozenges.   Overall, I accepted my situation and kept my spirits up.

But this week, although I haven't been coughing and sneezing nearly as much, I am tired.  So tired at times that I can't sit up.  Tired in a way that drags at my eyeballs and drains my spirits.  Tired in a way that makes me as cranky as a baby who missed her nap.

My biggest challenge this week has been my inner Control Freak.  I know that there's work stacking up in my in-box; that there are concerns at work which I should be there to address.  I WANT to be there, helping my colleagues, leading my team, contributing to the smooth functioning of it all.  Knowing that my staff are struggling to cover my workload without me is very frustrating.  I want to be there to pull my own weight.

I've always been a super-organized over-achiever.  I actually created an in-box for myself at the age of seven.  It was the packaging from a Play-Doh activity kit.  I wrote "THINGS TO DO" on it in my wonky, little-kid handwriting.  I can't remember what I put in there, but at the time it seemed extremely important to keep on top of the work in that box.

I was the same way with schoolwork.  When I was eight years old I procrastinated on a project,  rushing to complete it the night before it was due.  I promised myself I'd never do that again, and I didn't.  I became the anticrastinator, doing everything as early as possible.  My mom never had to remind me to do my homework, or help me with it at all.

I was going to be the kid that learned from other peoples' mistakes, not my own.  I was going to be rich and successful by getting good grades and working hard.  The stupid kids who goofed off and didn't get their assignments done were going to work for me someday.  They might bully me today, but the future belonged to me, with my A+ average.

Well, it didn't work out quite as simply as I'd hoped, not by a long shot.  I'm not rich by First World standards, nor wildly successful in the way I'd envisioned.  I still pride myself on my work ethic and for living up to my responsibilities.  However, I'm not sure how wise it is to hang on to the high standards that demand so much from me and give little in return.  

In fact, my one resolution for 2009 is to be less willful, and more surrendered to the will of God.  On a macro level I'm pretty good at taking cues regarding my life's direction, but at the level of day-to-day to-do lists, I'm fiercely controlling.  That still, small voice within whispers lovingly in my ear, and I ignore it.  I follow my agenda instead of my intuition.  This despite the fact that sticking to my own agenda tends not to work out to my best advantage.  

I have the feeling that my days would unfurl much more smoothly and meaningfully if I could find the courage to let go.

I've been praying to God to teach me how to be more surrendered to His will.  Although I was always a good student, this is my weakest subject.  What's the best way to learn?  By doing.  And here I am, forced to surrender, because I don't have the strength to fight.  Be careful what you pray for.

So, you'll have to excuse me.  I'm off to do my homework.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

Hope you feel better soon. I think perhaps you should put a note in your to do box that says "Healing" and then you get right to it.

Karen said...

I know the dance of recovery. Tuesday I was on death's door. Wednesday I felt better than I had in months. Today I am in constant respiratory distress.

BLAH! I need to weekend of rest.

LL Cool Joe said...

If you are someone who needs to control things, my partner is, it's very hard to let go and allow someone else to do that. But if the someone else is God, then it's a great thing to do. God has a plan for everyone of our lives, but sometimes we are too busy trying to do things our own way to notice what that is. Letting go isn't easy, but if you do I'm sure you'll find God's plan for your life is probably better than yours!

Christopher said...

Relax... Don't do it...


Scarlet said...

Letting go is the hardest thing to do. I think it comes from a fear of losing control, but how much control do we really have anyway? We get more from God than we can ever create for ourselves, so I'm learning to put my will aside and let His will be done. Not easy...but it's the only thing that works.

Good luck...I know exactly what you're going through.

mex (aka Syb)..CONTACT ME via EMAIL at this address: said...

i wanna learn how to be an overachiever.. AND super organizzzzed.. HELLLLLLP

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: Why didn't I think of that?

Karen: I hope your weekend was restful. No more dancing! Time to get better and stay that way.

LL Cool Joe: God's plans have always worked out to be better than mine. Apparently I need to re-learn that lesson a million times before I get it, but I think I got a little closer this week.

Christopher: Thank you for those inspiring 80's lyrics.

Scarlet: True - it's not so much about letting go of control, but about admitting that we never had it in the first place.

Syb: Could we do a brain exchange? Not entire - a couple of ounces of yours for a couple of ounces of mine. Then we'd be balanced.

Aurora said...

Well, I can relate to having an inner control freak (ICF). Mine is not really inner. It's outer ...especially when my boyfriend has his desk piled high with Stufffsss. I mean, coinspensrubberbandsenvelopes
Anyway. I find my ICF is less of a problem when I'm generally happy and not stressed. It seems to emerge with anxiety. So. If God makes you happy, I'm sure that He will help with the ICF. Which is awesome!