Sorting for Control

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It was a Saturday morning and I found myself rolling out of bed just before 7:00 AM.  I brewed some tea and brought my favorite mug into the living room.  I turned on TCM as I stepped down into my craft room.  This just in: my craft room is a glorified storage room.  It is full of gift wrapping supplies, craft materials, and just-started projects.

I knew what was ahead of me, and part of me wanted to run from the project I saw in my near future.  Lately I’ve been thinking of my 28th Year Goals, and specifically my desire to finish 28 projects, as I’ve yet to complete even one. 

I’ve also had a strong desire to share items that I don’t have a specific use for but another person might.  Even more so, to put to use what does have a purpose. I listened to an old Gretchen Rubin podcast discussing the “Spend Out” principle.  I have been thinking a lot about what I “save” for special occasions and how I need to allow myself to make every day a special occasion, allowing the usage of these “special” items I’ve saved.  It’s the idea of the ‘61 Cheval Blanc in Sideways

I brought out a few boxes of materials and got to sorting.  A few minutes later, I returned to the craft room to grab two more boxes.  A couple of hours later, my living room had made it’s transformation into hottmessland, and development was a continued motion throughout the morning. 

Mr. Smith goes to Washington rolling in the background, and piles being built around me, I was getting this mess under control.  My 28-projects-to-complete goal was under control as well, as I was keeping a list as I came across various projects I wanted to finish.  I compartmentalized every item I uncovered.  I was in control of where to put each piece.  Did I want to keep it? Would I use it?  Would someone else use it better?

A pile for my friend Molly, and a pile for my memory box.  A grouping of items to donate, things to bring into the kitchen, to my office, and to the shop.  A box of note cards, of post its, of stickers, and beads. Sorting my greeting cards by occasion and re-spooling all of the ribbon, securing it with a straight pin to avoid future entanglement. 


My local friends think of me as someone who likes a plan and thrives on organization.  This explains why, when Molly walked into my apartment that Saturday evening, her first words were – “Ummm…Heather?  Are you okay?”

It was then that I recognized my behavior as something I’d seen before.


Am I the only one that has to physically participate in a sort of massive organization when feeling like life is out of my own control? 

When a situation isn’t going the way I would prefer it, when I can’t produce the answers someone is looking for, when I don’t have the power to control someone else’s actions in a situation – I lose my mind.  I cope by finding control where I can.  In this case, it was my craft room and the list of projects I wanted to complete.

Is this a healthy way to deal?  Perhaps.  Is it the “healthiest” way I should be reacting- or rather, how better could I handle myself when find myself in these situations?

The first step may be realizing that I don’t need to be, nor can I be, in control of every situation.  I shouldn’t want to be in control, either.  This all stems from some sort of insecurity I am facing; needing to please others, not trusting other people and their abilities, or a fear of getting hurt or upset may the culprits. 

found here, from here

I need to remember that I am not the only person in the world, and that I am not the most important person in the room. 
I need to remember that things don’t need to go my way, and that I am able to handle any situation with gentleness and kindness. 
I need to remember not to worry about what is coming my way, because worrying doesn’t produce anything positive.
I need to remember to relax and allow myself to be present, to enjoy the moment, and not feel like I need to being doing something at every single moment, of every single day.

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4 thoughts on “Sorting for Control

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