I love hosting parties. I love people filling up my large front room, the delicious smell of food floating through my entire house, and how clean the house gets. Deciding what will be eaten, when it will start and end, and who’s invited is all in my control. There doesn’t seem to be any problem with this right? Well, I wish I could tell you that I didn’t stress out planning the party, preparing for the party, and managing everything during the party, but I do. This is where my control freak goes bonkers. I’m OVER controlling. I want the kitchen spotless, so “don’t eat anything family”. I want the family room toy free, so “don’t play with any toys for a day my almost two year old child”. Seems a little unrealistic to me.
I have learned that expectations play a lot into my frustration of feeling lack of control. When I’m planning a party, I start envisioning what that party is going to be like and how everyone is going to be while they are at my house. So I start to work, forming what I believe I need to do in order to make those expectations become a reality. This leads to overwhelming myself with what I believe I need to do in order to have a successful party; a perfect party.
I start not sleeping well. I start missing meals because I’m “too busy.” I start drinking a whole lot of coffee. I start having an achy body because I don’t ever stop moving. I start snapping at my husband. I start getting frustrated with my kids more easily.
My locus of control has shifted from inside to outside. I’m no longer controlling my thoughts, feelings, words, or actions. I hate this feeling because it makes me feel like a mess and I’m not fond of feeling like a mess. Three questions have really helped me shift the control back to inside.
- Does this need to be a problem?
- Is the emotion I’m feeling appropriate for the situation I’m in?
- If so, is the intensity of my emotion appropriate?
Most of the time I find my emotion IS appropriate (or I’m just good at justifying it), but my intensity is WAY off. When I ask myself that last question, I typically am able to calm myself down in a matter of minutes because I realize I’m overreacting. It helps me solve the problems I’m encountering way more productively. I can delegate tasks. I can write out to-do lists in order toaccomplish things in a more efficient manner. I can start seeing what needs to be done versus what I want to get done.