Death to the Control Freak


I’m a control freak. There I said it. The military has kind of elevated my level of control freak ness. I was trying to control my work life, home life, my husband, my kids, and even me. Trust me when I tell you that it can be very overwhelming. It’s even harder when the elements around you all want to go in different directions.

Maybe I should explain.

First and foremost I was working at one of the most demanding Navy commands and we are operational at all times. There are plenty of people that work there and they seem to not have a life outside of work. Okay, I’m assuming, it’s not that they don’t have a life it is just such a high tempo. The mission is always on ten. There are very few down times at this command. I know that my kids didn’t come in my sea bag and all but I still have a family. They may get on my nerves at times, but I still enjoy seeing them. I had to come up with a game plan to balance the two.

Then there’s the husband. In a three year span, he was deployed 18 months out of 36. In his absence I had a baby and was taking care of the other two kids. My pregnancy was rough too I spent most of my time on bed rest because I was high risk from the beginning (high blood pressure). I had to deal with a early delivery, a newborn, lack of sleep, diapers, sickness, and plenty of doctors visits (all thanks to the Petri dish that I call daycare) all while he was deployed and because I was on shore duty and sea for him, I was the primary caregiver. However, when he’s home everything goes haywire. I just want him to keep the flow of the house when he’s home but this is a chore within its own. The craziness that ensues when he’s home had caused a great deal of contention in our home. If he can only do things like I want them done I could probably loosen the reins a bit.

The kids of course have a mind of their own but I needed a rigid schedule for them to follow in order for me to be able to keep the flow of things going. Honestly, the plans, schedules, and helper schedules work great when my husband is away. I can get it all done by 8:30 and I can slip into bed an hour later. When my husband is home, he’s not a keeper of any schedule. The kids go to bed later and they all kind of fly by the seat of their pants. The domino effect affects everything and everyone. These bags under my eyes are the honest to God proof of it. I don’t like my kids watching just anything on tv. I monitor how much time they spend playing video games, on their cell phones, I make them go outside to play, I want to know where they are when they are outside, and I’m a clothes Nazi. I want to see what they are wearing too.

I’m still the worst, especially when it comes to me. I fold my clothes the same way I did in boot camp. I drive home the same way, shop at the same stores (all within my bubble), I don’t leave the bubble on weekends and I can tell if someone has moved something even the slightest in a room because I just know how I left it. All my glasses are grouped together by style, my shoes are in alphabetical order, the coffee cups are all pointed in the same direction.

Trying to keep this level of control is like juggling with too many balls. After a while, you might drop something. I didn’t just drop the ball. I dropped them all. My life was spinning out of control. Kids want to do what they want to do. My husband doesn’t want to be treated like a child either. My work life was struggling too because I just couldn’t concentrate.

I went to see a therapist and quite honestly think she was ready to put me on all kind of medication. She probably thought that the the cheese had slid off the cracker. Needless to say, she didn’t do that but she did introduce me to meditation. Incidentally, I didn’t pick it up right away because she introduced it to me and the rebel in me wouldn’t allow it. Meditation did however, intrigue me a bit. I had read somewhere that some of the most successful people in the world meditate.

I decided to pursue the idea a little further. I attribute meditation for my current zen like state of being. As you have already read, I was all over the place. In the beginning, I had to start with guided meditation because I really couldn’t focus on calming my brain down to a real slow creep. After months of research, in addition to a lot of practice I have gotten a little better at it. Who knew?

For the last few months, I have been experimenting with meditation, yoga, chakra’s, mudras, and poses. I have noticed that in my efforts to not control every part of my life that I have had a completely different outlook on things.

With my spirit a little calmer there was a revelation and it became pretty clear to me. I don’t have to control everything. I can’t control every aspect of my life. I can’t control others and too be honest who would want to. My life is too short to be stressed. I can only be me and that’s the only thing I have control over. As an added bonus, I’ve been pursuing the budding creative side of me and I look forward to where my journey will take me next year.

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