Not I, not I, not I.
I just had to post the cartoon. It’s over eight minutes long, has almost nothing to do with my post, and it has a commercial at the beginning, for which I apologize. Still, what a classic.
So who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf? I am. Who’s the big, bad wolf? Everything I obsessively worry about. Note to self: knock it the hell off!
Oh, how I long for my youth (well, actually, my thirties). How I long for the time I didn’t worry about – everything. Of course, in my own defense, I have a 13 year old daughter and a 16 year old son, so I certainly have legitimate concerns. Still. Back in the day, I had this beautiful faith in God and this wonderful feeling that even if things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to, everything would still be ok.
Now, I worry about all sorts of problems, large and small. I analyze, ponder, perseverate (look it up), imagine this scenario, that outcome, this response, that result. What if I this, what if she thats. God, it’s exhausting.
In my twenties, I was what some might call a control freak. I was pushy, bossy, bitchy and manipulative. Now, believe me when I tell you, there are plenty of people who have known me for the past twenty years who would say that I have never changed. But I’m here to tell you, there was a time, a golden moment in time, when I let things be. A time when I confined my controlling nature to my own behavior and did my best to let others be. (Some who know me are probably rolling their eyes right now, saying, “yeah, right.”) But truly, in my own mind at least (a major caveat), when things didn’t go my way, I shrugged and rolled with it. And with that attitude, I was able to let things unfold, without undue effort on my part to effect a desired outcome.
Where, oh where did that Leila go? A friend recently brought me face-to-face with the new (old) me. As I obsessed over some totally trivial matter, I finally said at the end, “I’m obsessing over this way too much,” and he gently replied, “I’m not inclined to argue with that last point.” Thanks Mikey. I needed that. Seriously, I did need that.
And so, as I thought about the last several years, I began to see a pattern of worry and obsession over matters large and small, all with the common theme: how can I make things turn out THE WAY I WANT THEM TO? Nooooooooooo! Not again!! Ack!!! What the hell am I doing? Wouldn’t it be nice if once we learned a lesson, we never forgot it? Now I have to work on breaking a new (old) bad habit all over again…as if I don’t already have enough to do!
I think this is how I’ve been feeling:
Note to self: Let it be.