Saturday, December 8, 2012

Learning to let go

When I was a kid, I had a very definite idea of how things should be and I got very upset whenever things went differently from how I thought they should go in my head. It would particularly upset me if I thought people were behaving poorly.

Even as an adult, I have had this tendency. I remember being at some sort of bridal shower back in the 80s and we played some sort of stealing game with prizes and this mother and daughter duo conspired to steal all the good presents between them. I was incensed! The fair thing to do would be to make sure the prizes got spread out as much as possible. It really took away my enjoyment.

This year I have participated in two White Elephants, a party game that also involves stealing presents. In both of them, I chose to open a present rather than steal one most of the time and in both of them I opened some pretty great presents that got stolen and ended up with some pretty "meh" ones. Not only that, but in one of them someone broke the rules.

And I really didn't care and, not only that, I had a great time.
I really got into the games and was cat-calling (steal it, steal it) and making jokes along with everyone else. I also didn't stress that people ended up with presents they didn't want or take as my personal job to sure all the rules were followed.

I guess maybe I'm getting more mature in my old age. It's about time!

I think the reason I had a great time is that I let go of my own notions of how the game should go and just went with the flow. I am not really a "go with the flow" kind of person. I'm more of a planner and a "maximizer" at heart.

But I'm getting better at not stressing over things I can't control. Now I just need to apply this newfound mellowness to situations such as my projects at work and my kids. I'm guessing my blood pressure will thank me.
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