Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I WILL CONTROL YOU.


YOU WILL BRING ME A FOOT LONG TUNA FISH SUB. AND A DIET COKE.

Just kidding.
But I would take some chocolate, if it's not too much trouble.

Lately I've been thinking that I might still have an issue with control. Do you?
When my friend May wrote a post about her fear of dying, I commented that I don't have so much a fear of dying as a fear of leaving my children to live without my help. But even as I commented, I realized how self centered that sounded. And that I was presuming to have much more control over their lives and futures than I actually do. I can't control their lives. I can't seem to control much of anything, really.
In fact, I could make a whole list of things I can't control.
I think I shall.

THINGS I CAN'T CONTROL:
1. The publishing industry. How long it takes to make decisions and birth books.
(Publishing industry, if you're listening, you're beautiful and I love you.)
2. When people get sick. And whether or not they get well.
3. What my children do or say when I'm not around. Or even when I am standing right beside them, as I was that joyous time I picked my baby up early from kindergarten and he turned to his friends and said, "See you later, suckers."
Nope, I can do my best at training them, but they continue to surprise me.
4. The Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina.
5. Fellow drivers on the road when my teens get behind the wheel.
6. My husband's steamy love affair with the History Channel.
7. The economy.
8. The amount of spam email I get advertising medical help for body parts that I don't even have.
9. The poverty and pain I see in my own hometown.
10. How my book sells. (I happily work hard to promote it, but I can't seem to master mass hypnotism. Do you know how? Email me.)

You'd think I'd have this control thing figured out by now.
I was formed in the womb as a Type A girl, and little by little, life has stretched and softened me. Having children helped, but France struck the greatest blow. How can you control things if you can't even communicate properly? Our French life was just what I needed in so many ways.

But lately I've been learning that maybe my lessons aren't over.

As a person of faith, I know I'm supposed to "let go and let God." I'm sorry, but I hear that expression and secretly roll my eyes. It makes letting go of control sound too easy, and it's so difficult to do. Sometimes I wonder if even my prayers are little messages sent up to try to control God, to beg God to see it my way. To align God's wishes with mine, even if I add in the part Your will be done. Even if I really mean it.

But then I think of so many amazing moments in my life that have been complete surprises, totally out of my control. If I had as tight a rein on life as I might sometimes wish for, they would have never happened. I would have never imagined them. They were gifts, completely free.

So until I figure this out, I guess I'll stay best buds with the Serenity Prayer.
And I'll keep my Sudoku book handy for whenever Todd turns on the History Channel. It makes for good snuggling, and we're both happy.

Have a wonder-full Wednesday, y'all!
Love, Becky


13 comments:

jama said...

YOU WILL BRING ME A BOX OF VALRHONA DARK CHOCOLATES.

Nice post, Becky. :)

Angela K. Nickerson said...

If you figure out that mass-hypnosis thing, please let me know! :)

Rosemary said...

Cats crack me up, and yes they control the house.
Have a great day!
Rosemary

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Whenever I think I want to be in total control, God gives me a good reminder of why I really don't. His plans always surpass mine. I guess we're short-sighted perhaps?

Ronnie said...

Just keep writing like this. You're brilliant and I love reading about your life and thoughts. I can't wait for the next book.

May @ Anne and May said...

Amen and amen! I always have a plan and I believe in my heart that there's nothing I can't conquer with some serious over-preparing and hard work.

And then, publishing happens. Or death. Or a little book death at the hands of publishers.

The loss of control is the hardest part. I just say the Serenity Prayer until my brain goes numb and I can think about something else.

Hang in there!

steve said...

For me, the control issue is really at the core of my faith struggles. So excuse me while I climb up on a soapbox...

It is all about submission. Submission of everything, every aspect of life. It takes great humility and a lot of faith to submit those things we cling to so tightly.

But when we go through life with fists clenched around those things we think we have to control, we're buying into a lie. The lie is that we must be in control and make things happen the right way or everything will go to hell in a handbasket. And that is not faith. Well, maybe it's misplaced faith in ourselves. But we have to remember who is supposed to be in charge. It's not us. Thank God, it's not us.

I have lived this lie far too often, and pray for the strength to loosen my grip.

Ok, I'm climbing down from the soapbox now - and I hope that song about holding on loosely from .38 special doesn't get stuck in my head.

LW said...

The first few lines had me laughing and then I had to smile at number three.

Before I knew what was happening I was in deep thought about control. Therefore, for a moment you controlled my thinking. I then looked outside to see that it has started to snow and realized I have control of very little.

In the last year and half a few events took place that I had no control over, they were good but yet bad, I had ambiguous feelings. I was unsure what to do and decided to do nothing. That was my mistake I let the events control my reaction. Now I need to get back on track.

Louise

joyfulploys said...

Another great post!!! Love the kitty picture at the top...I'll watch the video next. Hey, you've come a long way if you realize you can't dontrol things, I think. I cracked up about your hubby's affair with the history channel. Mine is on a BBC kick currently.
Cheers,
Mary

joyfulploys said...

oops, typo..."dontrol"...lol

Susan said...

What an interesting post. Courageous, to be sure. To admit to being controlling, that is. I've never felt like I am controlling, but I'm sure folks I used to work with would beg to differ. The cat video was way cute and #3 on the list is just a hoot. Take care, and "see ya later, Sucker"

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Thanks for your thoughtful comments, y'all. I have such wise friends!

c h a n t i l e said...

Glad I'm not the only one who feels this way!! :) Warm thoughts headed your way from a cold state! :)