Having a Life Instead of a Schedule

Some days you realize that you are going to be in recovery from Control Freak-itis for the rest of your life.

I do okay, except when I don’t take care of myself, which I haven’t been, because when is there time? I know, I know, I have to *make* time but lately I have felt too tired and fussy to manage it. Catch-22. I opened a show last week and stayed out too late too many nights and even now I look back and can’t see how I could have made different choices and been satisfied with them. We went to an awards event and had to stay until the end because one of our shows was nominated in the last category (the night was a bust, though full of good company). Our theatre opened a show the next night and I stayed too late at that after-party as well because people are awesome and I want to talk to them. I can’t have a life where I go home and go to bed early every night at the cost of connecting and spending time with people I like, because that isn’t a life, it’s a schedule.

I close this show in three weeks and shortly thereafter we take our annual resort vacation and when we get back the next show begins. For many years I was hesitant to take back-to-back gigs for fear of exactly this type of exhaustion but if I have learned anything in the last year and its one-loss-after-another factor, it’s that I don’t have the luxury of thinking, oh, I’ll do something with that director/writer/actor/friend another time. If I want to fill my life with connections, then I have to be a part of the things that foster them. If I want to keep growing as an artist then I have to keep fighting to get the opportunities that are going to frighten and challenge me into that growth. If I want to have the life I want, then I have to make the choices that let me have it. It’s what many of these absent friends would have done, one in particular.

So as I set myself up for more challenges, a busier timeline, less rest, and more risk, that’s when I start needing wanting to control things more. I want people to be the way I want them to be — friends, loved ones, and strangers are all fair game in being responsible for the managability of my life. If only the girl on the bus would stop lambasting her poor 401(k) customer service rep so loudly, then I would feel more at peace. If only the people in my office would think through their requests a little bit more before they come to me. If only the gal trying to get sober on the recovery forum would stop being in denial and listen to all the wisdom being thrown her way instead of getting defensive and slipping up again. If only, if only, if only. Just lately I’ve been too sleepy to remember that other people have the right to do things their way, whether I find it bloody annoying or not. It’s on me to accept others for who they are right now and resist letting resentments build which only hurt myself.

At the same time, it’s important that I accept myself for who I am right now without judgment or resentment as well, even if that person is a snappish, exhausted mess of a control freak. I’m gonna go get to work on that.

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