I’m often overwhelmed.
Some days I’m overwhelmed by the beauty in the sound of windchimes.
Last week I was overwhelmed when I stepped outside into a morning cacophony of birds and frogs engaged in spring chatter after a long Minnesota winter.
Some days I’m overwhelmed by too much sadness.
Some days I’m overwhelmed by too many things going wrong: the dog almost got run over by the garbage truck again, my email went down for the second time in an hour and my twenty-seventh try to fix it failed, I didn’t get the gig I wanted, etc.
Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed by too many good things; I’ve been overwhelmed by fantastic.
The funny thing is, just because the things that are overwhelming me are good, sometimes even great, too many good things can make me feel as bad as too many rotten things. I begin to wonder if the crux of the issue isn’t events themselves, but the ability I have to cope with them.
When my rural internet service goes down, and I can’t fix it, I feel out of control. When I have a TEDx talk on Saturday and a Book Launch in six weeks, and I don’t have enough time to prepare for them, I also feel out of control.
Control, it seems, is a big thing for me.
Out of necessity, I have embarked these last few weeks on a project to release my need for control over my life. To believe that I will be okay even if I am not on top of everything. That everything will work out. Somehow. That if I remain present in the moment, things will come together, even if they don’t come together in the way that I think they should.
I remind myself that, sometimes, it is the mistakes in a performance that are the most satisfying moments of a show, the moments when I am the most real and present, and the audience is the most at the edge of their seats. Sometimes it is an error in a phrase that leads me to a song idea. Sometimes, problems are our best opportunities to grow and become more of who we ought to be.
I keep reminding myself of this as I prepare for my Tedx speech this Saturday, at the same time that I am struggling to care for two kids under three because my daycare provider is on hiatus, at the same times as I trying (and often failing) to remain connected to a spouse whose own life is busy and full of pressures.
What are your best methods for letting go of control, and being okay with that?