I am a control freak.
The funny thing is, I wasn't really aware of it until I had a quiet little epiphany last week. Up till now, I would have said that I'm the girl who goes with the flow...and for the most part, that's still true. But as I spent some time on the last few days of December thinking about 2014, it suddenly occurred to me how many things I tried to manage this past year through sheer willpower: my grandmother's declining health and eventual passing, my book, sewing opportunities, my girls' education, the running of our home, the health and happiness of my family, and the prospect of big changes coming up in 2015. It's as if I thought I could make all these things turn out right if I just worried about them enough. Now I wonder why I wasted so much energy obsessing over things I couldn't really control...
It's the popular thing nowadays to choose a theme word for the coming year rather than make a list of resolutions. Alright, I thought last week, let's find a good word that means the opposite of "control." So I pulled up a thesaurus on my phone and found the following list of antonyms:
helplessness, powerlessness, relinquishment, renouncement, weakness
I have to admit, I was pretty stunned by these results. Every single one of those words, with the possible exception of "relinquishment" has a negative connotation. Is being "out of control" truly that
unpopular in our society today? Do we really see the inability to manage everything in our lives as a sign of weakness?
The more I thought about this, the more the pillow in the picture above kept coming to mind. This scrappy pillow and I have had a bumpy relationship since I made it over a year and a half ago. On the one hand, I adore it -- those great scraps, all the colors, that dotty border. But at the same time, it drives me absolutely crazy. Nothing is in color order, some of my blocks don't match up perfectly, and a few prints are even upside down. How sad that my need for perfection sometimes robs me of the joy I could take in things like this which are still lovely, even with their little mistakes.
So this year, I've decided that I'm going to be out of control. I'm going to do the best I can to hold up my end when it comes to my responsibilities and then I'm going to let the rest go. Because honestly, any control I think I have is nothing more than an illusion anyway. I've even placed that scrappy little pillow in the entryway of my home so that I'll see it every morning when I come down the stairs. I need that daily reminder to accept my own weaknesses and imperfections so that I can be even more gracious with those that exist in the people and situations around me. And I'm really hoping that as I grow in this area, I'll be able to spend less time managing my life this year, and more time enjoying it.
Wishing you all an imperfectly wonderful 2015.