I am going to admit something today, because I have heard that the first step to changing a behavior is to acknowledge it. So here it is…I am a control freak. This is not a new revelation to my family or those who know me well. They still love me and accept this fact, but I am aware that my control issues are not fair to them or me so I have been working to change this behavior. Luckily, I discovered a way to be in control of something without infringing on others. I formed a secret club that came about as a result of my morning walks. Even though I am sharing it with you, it is still a secret because the members have no idea they are members!
On my walks, I often encounter other walkers. The fact that I have my butt out doing something healthy and active makes me feel great and I am pretty sure other walkers feel the same way. Thus, the secret walking club was born. Club membership is based on criteria of my choosing and does not include body shape and size, sex or fitness level. If it did, I would not be in the club, so prospective members need not worry. Inclusion is at my sole discretion and I am the only one who knows who is chosen. If a fellow walker is friendly, saying good morning or throwing up their hand in greeting, they are in. However, if they look like a weirdo or serial killer, they are out. There are some who have no chance in hell of being admitted. These are the ones who insist on bringing one or more unleashed yapping dogs with them on their walk. I love dogs, so the dogs are not the problem. The problem is the dog owner. These folks are inconsiderate and have absolutely no manners. They allow their beasts to run amok, nipping at my heels, barking wildly, often foaming at the mouth like Cujo, and pooping wherever they like. It is these people who make me want to break the ‘Cone of Silence’ and scream “you are banned for life, idiot.” However, that would defeat the club’s purpose, so I choose instead to scowl at them and yell at their dogs to go away.
There is one individual who knows he is a member and that is my husband. Having him in the club has its advantages in that I get to control everything. I decide how far we walk, what route we take and give commands to speed up or slow down based upon my needs. All he has to do is follow along without argument. Maintaining membership has been a struggle for him. He often tries to stir the pot by offering an opinion or veering from the plan (this is why nobody else knows they are a member; who needs the aggravation?) On several occasions, he has been threatened with expulsion, but all in all, he is a good sport, indulging my craziness and controlling ways for a short time. In my efforts to deter his rebelliousness and give up a little control, I designated Fridays as “Freestyle Friday”, allowing him to pick the route. It is a win-win for both of us.
While the whole secret club thing may be an unconventional way to deal with control issues and my even sound plain nuts, that’s okay. You can call it what you like. If my being in control of something harmless and silly like the club allows me to hand over control of the important stuff to God, then I say kudos to me. By doing so, I am learning to live a happier, healthier life and taking the burden of unrealistic expectations off of myself and those around me. That is a club I am happy to join.
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