One of the topics that has come up in my class is the idea of control. In America, in the 1800’s we latched on to this idea of using science to make us more efficient. I always wondered why some of the most important inventions were invented in a country that has only been around for a few hundred years. Think about it- cars, airplanes, computers, light bulbs, and that is just a few. Of course, all of this was built on knowledge that had been discovered by people from other countries from centuries ago. Still, it is very impressive. (if you would like to know more about this you should read American Genesis by Thomas P. Hughes.)
The idea of control is fascinating for me. A few years ago I participated in a retreat and was told that I was like someone in a boat worried about all the things going on in the boat (the rudder, the sails…etc) instead of just enjoying the journey. This turned out to be a great analogy because when I found myself thinking too much, I could remind myself to sit in my boat and mind my own business.
But it seems along the way I have developed different issue regarding control. I am very conscious of things that waste my time. And when something doesn’t work out I feel like it was a waste of my time. Even going back to my experience on the Wine Date I had cancelled plans with a friend (who gave me her blessing) to go out with that guy. Even though I had a cool experience going somewhere new, a small part of me still feels like I could have gone out with my friend that night and had a very nice time doing something I enjoyed.
So I am trying to remind myself that even when something doesn’t work out, there is still value in that experience. I had another such event yesterday. As I mentioned I am writing my final paper. Whenever I have a paper due I tend to get more domestic. I will work on things that need to be done around the house as a way to procrastinate.
Yesterday I purchased a bookshelf that I have been needing because my books are all over the place. As I was building this bookcase, I realized I made a mistake buying such a cheap product. I’ve built many bookshelves in my life and this one was not working out well. I am afraid it will fall apart and at anymore moment I will hear all my books crashing to the ground.
My main annoyance is that I spent an hour or two of my day off building this crappy bookshelf from Target. I considered getting one from Office Depot and I could have an outside company assemble it, but then I couldn’t get it right away and I would have had to make separate arrangements for the assembly when I was completely capable of building it myself.
Last night, as I was working on my paper on the topic control, I was able to reflect on the experience of how I put a value on many of the things I do. While this can be a good thing. It causes me to judge everything as to if “this” is worth my time or not. This type of thinking does not allow us to be open to the surprises that present themselves. They could lead to wonderful things we weren’t expecting or at the very least, lessons for the future. It seems worthwhile to try to relax on my judgment of each experience and see where life takes me.