Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Control Issues...

This post really doesn't really have much to do with martial arts, as most of my posts in the past 6 months haven't either. With the shock of my husband walking out after almost 29 years together, and now the impending divorce, my martial arts have taken a back burner. I still love m.a. and still practice often, but I don't make it to class every week like I used to. I have other fish to fry at this particular moment in my life. My Sensei understand this and ironically, in about December, he even gave a talk about how martial arts is important, but God and your family cannot be put on the back burner. At the time, I agreed with his imparted wisdom, but had no idea how applicable it was going to be in the coming months.

One of the biggest reasons my husband cited for leaving was my reluctance to allow him to make important decisions in our family life. And despite his other mid-life crisis issues, he was right about this.

I have learned to relinquish some of the control I've always tried so hard to maintain. Some would have called me a control freak before my husband walked out in January. Okay, EVERYONE would have called me a control freak back then. And I still have issues, but I have learned to let someone else drive the bus.
That someone - I'll give him the MAM Blog code name of "Forrest" (because we call each other Forrest & Jenny like in the movie "Forrest Gump") - has been driving my bus lately. Wow - that sounds dirty doesn't it? But this is a family blog so you know that is NOT a euphanism for other things. Well, on second thought, it really is a eupahnism - but one for giving up control - not one insinuating questionable things.
Forrest and I started seeing each other 10 weeks ago this coming Friday. And my life changed forever. He helped me see that life goes on after my husband left. He is a goofball. I say that in a good way...I'm a goofball too and we just "click". He is a semi-control freak too. However, when my soon-to-be-ex-husband left, I did some soul searching and realized that although not all of the problem, I was, indeed, part of it and needed to make some changes in myself. The first and most noticeable change was that I needed to let go of the need to control every minute little detail of my life, my kids' lives, well - everyone's lives. And, with Forrest, I have finally met my match!
He does almost all the calling. I rarely call him - he calls me. The old controlling me would have hounded the poor man to death via cell phone. It is liberating to know that he wants to talk to me enough to do the calling.
He usually decides where we are going to go when we go out. And he surprises me with drinks that I'd probably have never tried had I not met him. I go to the ladies' room and come back and there is some new drink for me to try. I stuck with the same few staples I've always drank until now. My newest favorite is Southern Comfort and Sprite. Good stuff!
The ultimate realization that I had given up my control freak ways was when Forrest and I went camping over the Memorial Day weekend. In the past, I have always been the one to decide what we were going to eat when camping, as well as being responsible for shopping for it. I would be the one to make all the lists of what we needed to bring and then to make sure it was packed and ready to go. Forrest took care of EVERYTHING. I did not have to do a thing. He shopped for our food, marinated the roast he got for us, cooked it all at the campground and cut it up for me and brought the plate to me. I thought he was going to feed it to me too! It was heaven having everything taken care of for me. But it also spoiled me. I was enjoying not having to do any prep so much that in not making a list, I forgot my cell phone charger! The one darn thing I forgot - because it was the only darn thing I needed to remember!!!!
So, in conclusion, I still struggle with trying to control things. I probably always will. But it is refreshing and also even a relief to let someone else take the reins. I enjoy the feeling of letting him make the decisions. And the funny thing is in most cases, he makes decisions for me that I end up enjoying more than I would have had I made the choice myself. For example, sometimes he will make a choice for me and I will try it and end up enjoying something totally foreign to me. (Whodathunkit? I actually like bratwurst since the last time I tried it about 25 years ago!!!!) If I had never met Forrest, I'd probably have lived my life never trying bratwurst again.
Granted, that is just a silly little example of how I'm learning new things about myself on a daily basis. I am finding that by letting go of some old aspects of myself, I am gaining totally new, healthier aspects.
Like the "real" Forrest says, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get." I love you, Forrest!