Control

Hello.

My Name is Alicia.

I am a control freak.

I am a planner.

I am always early. Being on time is late to me.

This makes life with me exceedingly difficult.

It also makes life run smoothly, if you follow my plan.

There I admitted it. I am a type A, controlling person that allows that to rule my life more often than not. I know that it makes me hard to love , I really try to calmly allow the disruptions to cream my plans. However, that rarely happens. When people ruin plans, arrive really late, expect me to attend something that I am told about last minute, a beast comes out of me. You do NOT want to get in my path.

I balance so many balls on a daily basis as a FT mom, FT(plus) working momma whose husband has a new job that requires more of him than his last (I am SO proud of him with this job). I feel like I am one moment from everything coming crushing down. I guess I am in the midst of a fight or flight mode which took my idiosyncrasies and multiplied them by 50.  My life is planned out a month at a time, each detail written in a specific manner in my planner on a weekly basis. When someone tells me about a family event we need to be at next week, I die inside and then turn into Satan. Have you not known about this for a longer period of time and are just now telling me?

In my messed up mind, I translate that into disrespect. You know me, you know my life, yet you continue to do this to me. How self absorbed is that statement. This is what I am working on. Choosing to respect people for who they are even when I feel like they are not respecting me for who I am. After all, I am sure they wonder the same thing “they know me. They know I am always last minute.”.

You see, the Lord works in mysterious ways and about 99.9% of the friends and family that surround me are perpetually late and last minute. At the end of the day, me being frustrated and a raging lunatic will not change the situation. Me raging will not send us back 2 weeks ago when they knew about this upcoming event. Me being frustrated will not change the reality that I now have to use dreaded white out all over my wonderfully charted planner (I don’t undo my planner, if its in there on that day. It will get done. I have to complete and cross off). I love them and value you their place in my life, this  {minuscule}hiccup can NOT get in the way of that.

I also am a control freak. If I have it set in my mind something needs to be a certain way, it needs to be a certain way. If I am hosting a group of ladies for a brunch and tell you not to bring anything. DO NOT BRING ANYTHING. Why? Because I have taken the time to mentally  plan what I will make, where I will place it, how I will label it. And if I didn’t make room for your veggie tray in my scheme, then obviously all hell breaks loose when you show up with one. No leaving it on its plastic store provided base isn’t an option (you know, BPA and stuff.HA) . This isn’t because I am a gifted event planner, chef or even own remotely cute serving dishes. It is because I didn’t want you to or plan on you brining food. I want to serve you and you are getting in the way of my blessing gosh darn it.

But seriously, my husband is the best human being on this planet for dealing with me and my issues. Over the last 12 months (again, actually more like the last 3 years) I’ve had to deal with a lot of things that were easier to push down and let hide below the surface than deal with head on. I wish I could tell you this work in progress part of me came from reading a wonderful book, prayer or deep self seeking. It wasn’t. It was from reading THIS BLOG POST . I guess the Lord really meets you where you are… even in your FB feed. This post convicted me, opened my eyes and spiraled me into a sleepless night full of reflection that ultimately brought me to the realization that I am a self absorbed, tired momma that allows situations and life to control/ ruin days for both me and my family/friends.

I constantly tell myself under my breath: Choose Joy. Choose Patience. Choose Love.

Today I had a wonderful opportunity to practice this. I went to Costco, along with 500 other people on this 90 degree day. After walking about 6 miles to get into the store and seeking out the last cart they own that was not in use, I made my way through costco buying the 3 things on my list. If you think I left with just 3 things, then you are incorrect. I of course found the semi-decent deal on winter gloves for the kids that we could need tomorrow (MN weather is incredibly bi-polar), socks, crackers, a new cheese dip and sale priced gummies on my way from grabbing a 10lb pork loin and heading to the checkouts.
I held in my vomit as the cashier told me my total and I started walking towards the door. On the way I glanced down at my receipt and noticed that I was charged for 4 gloves instead of 3.
I didn’t even want to buy the 3 I need, let alone pay for a pair we didn’t actually have in the cart to take home. I waited in the 36 hour long customer service line as one lady rolled in, cutting the entire line just as it was my turn (chance #1). Finally it was my turn and I nicely and calmly explained the situation as the lady at the desk told me I would have to go to a different register where the manager would meet me to take care of the refund (chance #2). More waiting. The manager finally arrives at the check out only to need a 2nd manager to co-approve the return of an $11.49 overcharge. Moments later they apologize for the inconvenience and send me on my way.
I journeyed the miles back to my car (we call it goose- Honda Pilot- Goose Pilot), unloading the $160 of items into goose only to realize I now have only 2 pairs of gloves, paid for 4 and refunded 1… I should have 3 gloves, I paid for 3 gloves.(chance #3) I brought my receipt and the two gloves into the managers register area to let him know he accidentally forgot to hand me back my 3rd pair of gloves he used to issue the refund moments ago. He was confused and said that the gloves were most definitely put back into my cart. At this point I was almost audibly saying “choose love, choose joy, choose patience. They are gloves, its $12 and not worth escalating”.  Full of joy, I insisted he check the cart where I just watched him put return items to be restocked. He finally did and sure enough there they were.
I walked out all proud that I dealt with that situation without getting angry. I don’t always externally show my disgruntled feelings but oh boy there is lava flowing inside of me. Then,I thought “why on earth are you proud of yourself for this. This shouldn’t even be a thing. You have lots of work to do”….

So, here I am, costco poor with 3 pairs of gloves and proud that I took baby steps today towards a better me. SO much longer to go. I am trying.

 

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