I've come to a startling conclusion. A disturbing self-realization, to be more exact. I've discovered that I'm opinionated, often narrow-minded, maybe even stubborn, and (yikes!) not necessarily always right.
Ouch. It's a painful awareness...
And here I had this admittedly biased understanding of myself as being some sort of open-minded, listen-to-reason, cool-and-collected super mom. Nope. Not even close.
As long as things are going my way, I may appear to be open minded. Maybe even cool and collected. But once things are different than I had thought them to be in my perfect little plan that exists only in my head? Cool and collected is out the window. And I find myself frantically attempting to gain back that control of perfect plan going as planned, perfectly. It makes me anxious, and not in that I'm-so-excited-for-Christmas sort of way. Anxious, like sick-to-my-stomach sort of way, where-did-I-go-wrong sort of way, the-world-as-we-know-it-is-ending sort of way. And all I can think to myself is "holy cow! calm down and give me a break!" I mean, that's the exact sort of thing I'd say to my son if he were having a mini-meltdown over something that completely doesn't matter in the long run.
I've found that, regarding the mantra "practice what you preach," I'm great at the preaching part, but the practice part needs... well, a little practice.
So I wonder to myself, when did I get to be such a control freak? When did my laissez-faire attitude turn into one in need of stringent order? I remember a time when order was the enemy and caution was thrown to the wind. These days, the only place my order-opposing past is evident is on the top of of my desk at work... and maybe my kitchen counter. Okay, yes, definitely my kitchen counter. But it's hardly chaos. It's the catch all of my orderly necessities. My son's school papers that need saving, my retirement statements that need filing, and the rest of my mail that needs sorting. It's a place where my need of order just has yet to occur. So, it's kind of like a waiting place for my neurosis. ...disgusting.
Maybe I need a little childlike carelessness back into my way of thinking. Maybe we ALL need a little bit of childlike carelessness. Not too much - a little goes a long way. There are still responsibilities that need to be upheld. But, sheesh! Let's have a little bit of fun!
Life is just too short to worry about the little things. Let a little laissez-faire attitude back in. Whatever will be, will be. We never really get to control what happens, anyway. While our choices may determine which route we take, we really only control our reaction to it and our attitude along the way.
As I say this, I realize that I'm going to have to ask my son a favor. "Alright, kiddo. Show me how we do this. It's been a looooooooooong time." It's not so bad learning something new. Or, rather, re-learning something I maybe shouldn't have forgotten in the first place. Especially from my son.
And I'm more than positive I'll be better than I am now for it.