It's that time of year again when a lot of people are talking about resolutions. I've always been big on them myself, since I'm a huge sucker for fresh starts. I love a clean slate, a blank calendar, a second chance...a new beginning. One of the things I'm slowly coming to understand about myself is that when my brain frantically careens from one topic to another (all day long, thank you very much), it's often because I love the process of sorting out and untangling all the thought threads. There's so much possibility there, and what are resolutions about if they're not about possibility?
I've given thought to resolutions for this year. I really have. And my list basically boils down to this:
God knows both of those are open to interpretation. Would I be happier if I weighed thirty pounds less and won the lottery? Well, duh. But do I need those things to be happy in the first place? No. No, I don't. The worrying thing is going to be tricky, and I'm well aware of that. I'm hard wired to worry, and sometimes it seems like I've spent my entire life fretting about things that were never really even factors. There's also the fact that I'm damned good at it. It's hard to give up something that comes so effortlessly, but it's time to put this particular trait to bed. If I've learned nothing else this year (oh, but I have), it's this:
Control really is an illusion. It's all smoke and mirrors.
Take this past year, for example. My house hasn't burnt down, my kids never got salmonella (rabies, arrested, pierced or expelled), my loved ones and dogs are well, at the end of each month I have a (+) in my bank balance rather than a (-), and, in spite of formidable roadblocks thrown in my way, I still managed to sort of stay with the goals I set myself in 2008. (But not for the reasons I originally intended. #1 became about surviving the present, #2 became about challenging the future, and #3 proved to me that you don't need a perfectly manicured lawn to cultivate your inner garden).
And as much as I worried about money and food poisoning and faulty wiring, I was still completely and utterly blindsided by the loss of something that I never expected to lose, and in a way I certainly never expected to lose it. I lost more than my marriage last year. I lost my feeling of being in control of my life. If someone can look you in the eye and tell you that they love you and want to spend the rest of their life with you, and then walk out the door without giving either of you a chance to make it better...well, if that doesn't shatter your illusion of control you're a better person than I am. And to not only survive that, but to, well, kind of thrive, makes the notion of being in control all the time even less appealing.
Because with the loss of the illusion of control comes freedom. Control what you can. Trust the heavens with what you can't. Let go of what you couldn't. And above all, enjoy the ride.
Makes sense to me.