School starts this week and in the midst of labeling a bag-full of school supplies, I’m making lists, checking them twice, and updating my calendar. Ah, organization. It’s something I find myself constantly striving for. As I mentioned in an earlier post, physical clutter can really clutter the mind. Organizing my clutter (and my family’s) and tying up loose ends gives me a sense of peace and control. I lap up organization tips, but for some reason applying them to my own life isn’t as easy it looks in the magazines.
Once again, I’m reminded of Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project. She mentions that having a sense of control over your life contributes to one’s overall happiness. I found this comment profoundly accurate in my own life. As a mom, my days can be unpredictable. For example, I may plan to hit the gym one day, but find myself caring for a sick child instead. My needs are often placed on the back-burner to deal with the more immediate needs of my children. I’m pretty sure most moms can relate. It’s hard to feel happy when your life is controlled by others’ needs and whims. Nonetheless, my overall happiness that I have a family supersedes my desire for complete control over everything. And really, who gets that anyway?
When I’m in reactive mode with life spinning around me like a tornado, I’m much more short-tempered, resentful and frustrated. It’s those little nagging details that seem to mess with me. Choosing to control the details that I can, like getting everything on the calendar, posting the week’s events on my whiteboard, writing a list each day and communicating the week’s expectations to my family makes us all feel a little more in control. No one likes the feeling of being blindsided – even kids. At any rate, with a few controls in place, hopefully I’ll be better able to deal with the inevitable slip-ups that come with being a “good enough” mom and wife.
What do you do create a sense of control in your life?