I remember one of my godfathers once asked me to choose a present for myself. I was about 8, and we were in the local newsagent.
I looked for a long time, finally bringing him the thickest compendium of Garfield comics I could find, which he bought without hesitation. Afterward, he questioned my choice. “I was only able to choose one gift,” I explained, “so I wanted to make sure that the gift I chose would last me a long time.”
That’s me. I’m a thinker; a planner. I’m the person who always has to know what is going to happen, WAY ahead of schedule, so I can plan for it. That photo next to ‘control freak’ in the dictionary? That’s me.
Well, it used to be, anyway. I’m learning to relax a lot more. God working in me and all that, maybe?
Case in point: this blog.
Last week. No blog post.
Whoops! Monday morning came; Monday morning went; all 24 hours worth of Monday disappeared… and no new words appeared here.
And it was completely human error. Mine.
Thees last couple of weeks have been busy ones, you know? As in, three-cherubs-underfoot-EVERY-SINGLE-DAY-and-no-time-to-stop-and-think-and-realise-exactly-what-day-it-is-today kind of busy.
Hence Tuesday evening, when I went to watch the Monday TV show I’d taped the night before, I realised that I’d been a day behind. No TV show taped. And also, no blog post published. It wasn’t even written! It hadn’t even been thought about!!!
Cue panicked screaming, running around the house, arms flailing, et cetera – for a whole 20 seconds.
And then I thought, ‘You know what? These things happen. It’ll be okay.’
Decibel levels reduced to within nationally appropriate safety standards, my arms stopped flailing, my heartbeat slowed again, my mind ceased racing, and the cherubs whose presence had caused the upset to routine in the first place, chalked the episode up to yet-another-example-of-Mummy-being-crazy, sighed, and returned to watching old episodes of Pokemon I’d recorded for them. (Yes. Record their programs, not mine. Go figure.)
Stuff had gone pear-shaped, and little ol’ control-freak me was going to… be okay with that.
I’d realised that no amount of panicked screaming and arm-flailing was going to change the situation. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” seems appropriate to quote here, but actually, it was a tweet that same day that hit the nail on the head for me, instead.
So often I allow stuff over which I have no control, to trip me up. Do you do the same? But although the idea of ‘stumbling over something that lies behind us’, is ludicrous… how often do we do it?
If we can’t change the past, then let it lie. Don’t dwell on it; forget about it inasmuch as it is able to be forgotten (obviously, consequences will out and all that).
But, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t want to be the person on her deathbed at the end of her life, saying ‘I regret spending all that time worrying’. Especially when it’s worry over things I can’t do anything at all about.
[Aside: It may be trite, but I believe that worry is simply an unsaid prayer.]
So my advice, when stuff goes pear-shaped? Do something about it, if you can. And if not, then don’t sweat it. In the long run, it’ll probably be small stuff anyway.
Well, that’s my take on it. Your thoughts?
And have a great week, dear reader!