Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's all about Control

What, exactly, can you control? What you wear? Where you go? With whom you speak?

Growing up I had a good friend who wore very normal clothing in a very normal way... anytime she 'branched out' her mom would say "That looks like something Amy Maslan would wear"... and you can bet your sweet booty that her momma was NOT giving her a compliment.

My first phrase was 'I do!'... my way of telling my parents, brother, the neighbor or anyone in shouting distance that I would do it myself, and I would do it MY WAY! That came through in my clothing, in my choice of activities, in the books that I read (don't be thinking I was some wild and crazy rebel... bookworm is more like it, a nice, polite, bookworm)

I know a young man who wears shorts year round- come rain, sleet, snow, or hail, he has shorts on. I know a young lady whom I have NEVER seen without a completely 'done' face, including her beautiful false lashes that I adore and coveted and never would have guessed were faux until I saw her pull one strip right off in a meeting... I about fell off my chair!

These are our public 'faces', our online personas, the 'us' that we put out there for everyone to see... do I post the pictures that show my lumps and bumps and pudge? HECCCCCKKKKKK NO! Nor do I post when we've had an awful FX night- spitting and biting and fussing, not eating and surely not sleeping. What about days when something brings me down, when I'm sad and blue and filled with worry... my mental lumps and bumps and pudge spilling out all over my real life.

Look back at the first sentence- Your occupation might dictate what you wear, and speaking of gainful employment, that surely dictates where you go and when you get there and whom you speak to while you're there. Not saying you can't change jobs, move, and so on... but what can you change RIGHT NOW?

As a parent, I am WELL aware that my attitude, my state (calm, frantic, peaceful or frazzled) has a significant impact on my children's personality and mood. Same thing at work- When I am cheerful, in control and relaxed my patients and their family members pick up on my vibes and, hopefully/usually/eventually, we all move forward in a calm effective manner. I can't control how others treat me... and sometimes it's really, really hard not to pop off an obnoxious rejoinder or to jump on the stressed out train that carries many passengers and runs fast and furious in every medical setting I've ever worked.

I am working on that inner locus of control- the one that says 'Right now, I'm in charge of me... and my life is a reflection of the choices I'm making'. I can't change the past. I can't change my chromosomes, my DNA and the mutation that I carry that caused my sweet big boy's FX, but I can most surely work every day to ensure that his FX does not define him, does not define our family, and that the guilt and worry do not define me. I am in control of my attitude and how I react to the hugging, smiling, milestone accomplishments that he makes is just as important as how I react to the spitting, biting, fussing. Just as with my middle B and baby A, how I react to the boundary testing that 4 year olds do, the 'must have momma' drama that consumes many of my 1 year olds waking moments, and the sweet cuddles and amazing leaps that are being made, it all gets wrapped up into this crazy thing that is 'our life'.

My style is affected by my attitude... When I'm feeling bogged down by negative thoughts and emotions, I wear something safe... something that no one will notice- for good or for bad. When I'm feeling self assured and peaceful I'm more likely to branch out... I don't care so much if other's like my style because it's a choice that I have made that makes me happy (or a learning experience, either one).

So, ramble coming to a conclusion, focus on what you are in charge of- your attitude, your inner state, your locus of control. Decide how you want your life to be, then go after it. Don't worry if someone (or their momma) doesn't like how you look. Be at peace, be you.

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