John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." NIV

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Letting Go...

I have a problem with letting go. I run a tight ship. I have expectations for everyone and everything around me and do you know what.. 90% of the time, they go exactly the way I want them too. It is that 10% of the time... the things that are out of my control that I struggle with... that I beat myself up over.

Last night was a perfect example of my life. It was the PTA End of the Year picnic. As the President-elect for the incoming year (yes, I wanted to be President), I felt the need to be ever present. We have several positions that need filling, so I was going to mingle, play the crowds, circulate... kiss the babies.

It didn't go as planned. First, I subbed all day, so I knew there was no going home until after the picnic (think 12 hour day). My lovely children decided they wanted to stay and help set up too, which meant that I needed to keep an eye on them. The person in charge was 45 minutes late with all of the "stuff" that needed setting up... so we stood around... waiting. Finally, we work quickly and all looks like it will go well until... there was NO ONE to do the free face painting table. None of the teenagers... I mean out of 10 of them, that volunteered for service hours wanted to do face painting. Excuse after excuse, left me... with that job.

Okay, I am not *that* bad. But the problem is that I am a perfectionist. The first girl up wanted a puppy. Okay.... not too hard. I convince her that I can painted Clifford the Big Red Dog on her cheek and she happily agrees... and it did not look too bad. Her mom said, "It looks just like Clifford... hey, you are good!!!!" I was thinking... really? Because his left ear is longer than his right, and his nose is all off centered.... you get the drift, right?

Next up, a flower.... EASY-PEASY, right? Sure... but I wanted to give it dimension and texture... but the girl was like 3... she just wanted a flower. Another happy child sent on their way. And this was how it was for the next 2.5 hours. Painting spider, snakes, hearts, flowers, kittens, puppies, mustaches (on little girls), ponies, airplanes, and peace signs. But there was one that sent me over the edge. She wanted a white unicorn with red hair. It was bad. It was where this perfectionist had to let go, but didn't. In the end, it looked like a white puppy with a penis on its head. Honestly, I tried hard... to make it look like a unicorn. Her mother laughed it off... I made fun of myself... but I could not get this "bad" unicorn out of my head. And do you know what... the 20 or so children after that... their paint jobs were crappy as well. I had defeated myself. I kept replaying that unicorn in my head over and over again trying to fix it. Maybe I should have started with the horn instead of the nose. Maybe I could have outlined it first and then painted it. Or maybe, I could have admitted that it was out of my league and offer her another suggestion.

I have been reading a lot in blog world about bad races, bad workouts, bad runs. For me a bad race is not doing my best. Sure, I try to aim for a time, but a bad race is like... well, is like walking with 200 yards left of a race like I did for Jeremy's Run. Or running too fast for a 10-miler and then dry-heaving the last mile... defeating yourself with each step.

I have been training and training for this Olympic Tri which is like 2 weeks away... but I haven't been training my head. I need to know when to turn it off and just do it. Suck it up. I over think EVERYTHING... the problem is that I am such a control freak, I don't really know how to turn my brain off... let go... do my best... accept my failures.... stop the negative, defeating thoughts that sure are not helping me get to the finish line and start chanting, "You got this!" "You trained for this!" "So what... it isn't a PR, but you will be darn close!" "It is your first Oly Tri... do your best, you WILL be happy with that!"

The unicorn girl did come back to my line. Not because she demanded a redo.... on the contrary. She brought her little brother with her... he wanted an airplane, blue with red stripes. By this time, there were 2 other teenagers helping. When one of their lines freed up, the boy said, "can I have her do it?" Referring to the cute teenage girl next to me. And the mother said, "No, Mrs. Green is good, let her do it!" I started to laugh, make excuses... but instead, I smiled.
How do you turn your brain off, let go... and in the end, JUST DO IT?


Melissa Cunningham said...

oh wow,girl,i wish i had some great advice for you,but I AM THE SAME WAY!!!!!!!
usually when i feel myself thinking about all the"what ifs" and would have,could have,should haves,i go for a run-it helps me collect all my thoughts,think about them,then sort through the feelings and toss the "crazy talk" ones to the curb,and out of me head!what keeps me grounded is asking myself "will this matter 5 yrs from now?"
i know its hard to turn the brain off,i struggle with it to! just do your best to hang in there! focus on what you can control and leave the rest in gods hands,lol!
anyways,good post
i just had to laugh at the unicorn part,really laughed out loud in my living room!!thanks for the smile this morning!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I may never look at unicorns and face painting the same again. Great to be able to laugh at ourselves!

Today I have been mentally kicking myself in the butt all day long. I knew that I would oversleep this morning. I knew that after the mega hot day in the park with the kids I would be fried. I knew. But then I woke up just like always around 5. I laid there until 5:30. I got up went to the bathroom and made all kinds of excuses in the head as to way I should skip it. And this morning, I used those excuses and went back to bed.
I know that no matter the heat I WILL run tonight. So it's not like I won't exercise or that one missed run is the end of things. BUT it's the letting myself down part that works on me.
Thanks for the story! I am going to finally just let it go and focus on my work. Then before I know it, I'll be home and ready to run.

Mimi said...

I have never been able to turn my brain off. It's constant chatter drives me nuts! Good luck.

Hugs & love,