Over the last two weeks, some things have conspired that really have me thinking about control and how much of it I just don’t have. This is not a lesson that I am particularly enjoying, but I think it is important.
About two weeks ago I was informed that, due to low enrollment (a thing I cannot control, as much as I wanted to go find random 9-10 year olds around the city and drag them to work and force them to enroll at my school), my position was cut in my happy little fourth grade world. I was offered a second grade position at my school, but just felt in my gut that that was not the position for me. So, with some help from my boss, I found and accepted a reading intervention position at another school. As much as I am excited to meet new people and try a new position, it was exceedingly frustrating to have this happen to me, and not be able to do anything about it. Pictured above is the mess I moved into; that is a pile of stuff I had to move out before I could even get my stuff in!
This second example of things I can’t control is so petty, but it has really been an eye-opener to me about how much I want control of even the stupidest things. There has been this red truck parked in the best parking spot in front of my apartment since JUNE, and every time I come home from work, it drives me crazy. “Who does this?? Don’t they know that people who live here and actually drive their cars want to use this spot too!!!” I finally asked my landlord if they could do anything about it, since parking has been hard to find, but they were completely useless, as usual. So there it sits, every day, collecting spider webs in prime parking real estate.
The last lesson I’m learning about control is the one that hurts the most. Over the past two weeks, Covid has started creeping closer to home. My boyfriend lost a close friend last week, and my close friend’s daughter is currently hospitalized. It’s a powerful reminder of how fragile life can be and how things happen that we just can’t do anything about. I wish with my WHOLE HEART that I could push a button and make everything better.
But I can’t. I just can’t.
So what are we supposed to do? We can’t control job changes, or where people park their cars, or this pandemic, among other things. How do we live when it seems that so much of life is just happening to us?
I don’t think there is one easy answer, and sometimes it just feels good to ask the question. But here is something I am learning; I’ve chosen to focus on what I can control instead of dwelling on everything I can’t. With work, I can take what has happened to me and turn it into something good. Make some lemonade out of it. Choose to focus on having the best attitude I can every day and trying to learn from the situation, instead of being mad every day that this happened.
With this ridiculous truck, I can just choose to let it go, which is very, very hard for me. I can choose to just move on with my life since there is nothing I can do about it anyways. And slowly, finally, I got to the point where I just park my car wherever there is a spot, and that’s that.
But this last one, what to do when things are happening to people that you care about, and you can’t do anything about it, feels paralyzing. It is the hardest to let go of control when it comes to our loved ones. I’m still learning this one and I want to be careful to not be trite, but some things that help me are practicing gratitude even in the worst moments, and trusting that God will be there to help pick up the pieces and make it into something beautiful, regardless of the outcome.
What are you trying to control these days? Or what advice do you have on the matter?
Thanks for reading!