When I hear the word “control,” I immediately begin mixing my pop culture metaphors as my brain simultaneously sings Janet Jackson lyrics and does a [poor] Gollum impression, whispering, “My precious,” to the idea of control. Ah, to have everything in my world following my commands and plans! Like Ms. Jackson, some days I imagine my last name really is Control.
Then I wake up. Or I take one step outside my imagination and into the real world, where very few things go according to plan and even fewer are truly in my control. Reality smacks me in the face, and I remember: that gold ring is one I will never grasp, but not for lack of trying.
The crazy thing is that, despite more than forty years of life experience and a reasonable amount of common sense, part of me still believes that if I can just plan enough, I can control all the variables and force the world to turn into exactly what I want. After all, I make really good plans! So it seems fair to expect – no, demand! – that everything goes well. All of it. I want everything lined up and locked down, clean and shiny and pretty and perfect. I want it under my control.
But, let’s be honest, how often does that ever actually happen?