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What I can control Fri, Nov 12, 2010
I'm a control freak, which takes the following forms: 
  1. I'll drive, because I don't trust anyone else with my safety.
  2. I'll rake the leaves and shovel the driveway, instead of paying some teenagers to do it, because I do a better job than they would.
  3. I'll design my own website, because I don't like the way anybody else does it.
It was only fairly recently that I realized I was a control freak and admitted it could possibly be a negative thing.  Control-freakery is sometimes good because it's often accompanied by perfectionism, which means certain tasks like cleaning and organizing get done, and get done well.  But it's bad in pretty much every other aspect, as evidenced by the primary side effect of being a control freak:  Getting angry about everything. 

The thing is, most things are out of my control.  Things like election results, cable TV outages, and people who leave their blinker on after they make a turn, are all things that are outside of my control, and since I can't control them, it makes me angry.  What's worse is that a lot of times there's an illusion of control.  Like with elections, I can exercise my right to vote, which makes me feel like I'm part of the process, but in the end the final decision is not in my hands.  It's similar with people who can't drive:  Maybe if I can just tell them they forgot to turn off their high beams, it'll make everything alright.  But in the end, that person can still decide to high-beam me, and that's not something I can control. 

The more I think about this topic, the more things I add to the list of things I can't control.  I thought I had it pretty well summarized by saying the only thing I can control is me.  But then there's the issue of my health:  Even if I eat well and exercise, there's still a chance I'll get sick or develop a disease.  So my own health is outside of my control.  But at least I can control my actions, right?  Wrong, if I happen to have muscle spasms or a seizure.  Surely my speech is under my control.  Nope, not if I have Tourette's.  My thoughts?  Sometimes.  But sometimes not. 

So in the end, I can pretty much control nothing. #psychology


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