And heaven forbid, anything or anyone gets in the way of what I've got planned for that day. You want a spontaneous coffee date? I'm sorry, it's not in the schedule. A phone call from my mom at the wrong time? Ignored. Rush hour traffic on Dodge Street? A fatal blow for my scheduled-to-the-minute plans.
I have all my homework scheduled two weeks in advance, the day-to-day tasks on a whiteboard in my room, to do lists on a notepad, and things to remember written in my phone as hourly reminders.
I know all of the adjectives you could call me right now: control freak, obsessive, stressed, uptight, but I would just prefer to call it impecable time management.
Or so I did.
Let's switch gears here. Remember when you were little, and you'd be on the beach or maybe in a sandbox? I know when I'm out on the lake I love to dig my feet or hands into the sand. So picture this.
Scoop a handful of sand into your palm, and just hold there. Feel it's weight, and notice the tiny overflow falling back to the ground. Now, I want you to squeeze the sand, as hard as you can, and watch your little mountain crumble into a small pile. Open your fist back up, and note how much sand you have left. You probably don't have much left. Funny how that works.
The tighter you hold on to something, how much faster it falls apart.
The harder you squeeze, the less you have left.
To those of you who were calling me a control freak at the beginning of the post. You would be right. The more I tried to leave little to chance, the more I came up disappointed and empty handed. I tried doing everything on my own, came up short, and let myself down over and over again.
I'd heard the sand metaphor from a mentor, and something inside of me just clicked. The more I clung to control and order, the more chaotic my life became, but as soon as I loosened the reigns a bit and gave up control to The One whose plans are way better than mine, the more I was able to find some breathing room in the day to day.
Some days are still crazy. I've spilled coffee on myself more times than I can count. I've been late to work and class. I've gone negative in my bank account. By no means has giving up some control fixed all problems in my life, but at least when those things come up I can keep moving forward. It doesn't mean that my whole day has gone to waste.
The funny thing about control is that we are always trying to handle something, trying to manage, manipulate, or maintain. Usually, that something isn't even a physical aspect. Our Somethings usually consists of time, relationships, or emotions. These somethings that we never even had control of in the first place.
Life's a lot more enjoyable when you're living dear life, rather than clinging on for dear life. Give your mountain to The One who's moving mountains everyday for your sake anyways, because I promise the less that you squeeze, the more you breathe.
So take some time, and play in the sand.
To express, explain, and exclaim the lessons life continually throws at me, and my take on how to deal.