Last week, I wrote a blog post called Back to Normal, because I thought that was where I was heading when I came back to Waco from Christmas break. But it seems that I was wrong, at least at first. Because my first week back hasn’t felt very normal at all. In fact, it’s felt very odd, maybe even a little bit strange. And that can be unsettling.
As most of you probably already know, I’m a creature of habit. I thrive when I’m on a consistent schedule. I love to plan out my day and then follow that plan precisely. But unfortunately, that’s not always how things go. Sometimes people you make plans with end up being late. Sometimes you want to go for a run at the gym, but there are a ton of people there still clinging to their New Year’s Resolutions to get fit, so you can’t. Sometimes you want to go to sleep, but your fan broke and you can’t sleep without it, so you just sort of lie there. And you feel weird, and a little bit disappointed. But then you remind yourself that it’s going to be OK.
Many of you may not understand this, but for me, when things get weird, I tend to feel insecure. I like feeling like I have at least some sort of control over the situation I’m in. That’s why I like to schedule out my days. And when I feel like I don’t have control over my situation, my attitude starts to go downhill. I get frustrated and sometimes even scared. And even when things turn out for the best, I’m still often disappointed by the fact that things didn’t go the way I planned. It’s silly, I know, but it’s my default way of reacting when weird stuff happens.
But this past week has given me opportunities to react differently, and I’ve tried to take advantage of them. Because most of the time, when things don’t go as planned, it’s not the end of the world. It can often be a good thing, but I can’t see that until I let go of my desire to control the situation. So that’s what I’ve been trying to do this past week when things got weird, and I think I’ve had a modest amount of success.
I’m trying to learn to just go with it. To be flexible. I think life would be a lot easier if we weren’t so hung up on what we want that we were able to just let things be. The truth is that I can’t control everything. In reality, I have very little control over anything, which is why I tend to get upset when my false feeling of control is undermined. But lack of control doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, I’m not qualified to have control over much, and it’s pretty arrogant of me to think that I am. When things don’t go the way I planned, it’s an opportunity for me to be humbly reminded that I don’t always know what’s best.
Because things have a tendency to work themselves out. And often it’s the days that don’t go as planned that turn out to be the best days. So when things get weird, I’m going to embrace it and see what happens. Who knows? It might turn out to be better than I ever could have planned.