Monday, December 1, 2008

A Revelation

I am not expected to control anyone.
In my meeting last night I heard many people say this very thing and I nodded and smiled, but didn't truly experience the revelation until I started my drive home from work after a crappy day. It all began with a dream I had last night. I'm taking a prescription pill to help me stop smoking and the side affect that I'm experiencing is vivid dreams. Last night I dreamt in vivid and excruciating detail that I had to fire one of my gardeners after they did something very stupid on our biggest property.
I've written about this property before. If I was a good blogger, I'd know how to put in one of those fancy links to send you to the exact post. But I don't. Look for "Was this a Test?" from 10/21 for pictures and tales from The Manor where no expense is spared.
Today's schedule put me at The Manor and I drove there the whole way with this dream in my head. I was working with a couple of knuckleheads, who are all right on their own, but together make me feel like I'm babysitting more than anything else. Knucklehead 1 is almost certainly high all the time and Knucklehead 2 is usually hungover. Nice enough guys, just not particularly thoughtful, dedicated or careful.
Our task for the morning was a very thorough weeding of the entire 60 acres. Weeding at this time of year removes a lot of perennial weeds that would spread and cause serious headaches next season. Today was warm and it was probably our last chance to get any remaining weeds. We started all together, but Knuckleheads quickly got ahead of me. I found myself following behind them, on my hands and knees, carefully picking out all the weeds they missed. Every time I looked up, Knuckhead 1 was strolling along, every few feet finding a weed. I felt myself getting more and more frustrated. Finally I brought 1 over to an area he strolled by and told him this wasn't my idea of thorough. He kind of chuckled and shrugged and made some pretense of being more thorough and then moved on.
A few hours later, the afternoon crew arrivied with truckloads of greenery for decorating The Manor. Things got a little chaotic and no one was sure what to do. I became extremely frustrated with the situation. Everyone was doing their own thing, with no consistancy or direction. Eventually, I remembered that there was supposed to be a crew to continue weeding, and a crew to decorate. Unfortunately, that meant I had to take Knuckleheads 1 and 2 back to another part of The Manor to weed. By this point I couldn't even look at these two without wanting to shake them as I hard as I could. I weeded with them for less than an hour before I got the call from my boss saying that if necessary, I should leave to prep for tomorrow's meeting. I wasted no time and was gone by 2pm. Knuckleheads probably got high the minute I was out of sight. The decorating crew probably used too many garlands and we'll have to reorder. The owner of The Manor was onsite driving around in his billion dollar Audi watching the disaster unfold, but I just couldn't take anymore. I can't do the work for them all. I can't control every garland they string, weed they pull or eye they roll at me. I can't control what the owner sees or thinks. I can't control what they say about me. I can't control whether they enjoy their job or not.
And not only that, my boss certainly does not expect me to be able to do all that. So the only person who was putting all this pressure and stress and frustration on me, was ME! What a revelation! And I don't think I would have recieved it without AlAnon. Wow!


Cat said...

That realization was so freeing for me - I sorta of repeat it in my head every now and again when I feel the need to control - its a great mantra for a reminder on what life should feel like!


Gabriella Moonlight said...

Wow I just love these moments and usually say things in meetings about my husband where I can't control him...he has his backyard and garden and I have mine...I have to tend to my own. This is an amazing post. Thank you

steveroni said...

Is that what was meant by: "I have met the enemy--and it is ME!"???

Shadow said...

lovely revelation. what you said is so important. to let go what you can't control. kinda something i remind myself of a few times (at least!) every day...

Syd said...

I can only take care of what I do. I supervise 16 people and can direct them. But I also don't micro-manage. It's too much to look over everyone's shoulder. I'm sure that the Manor looked great. Weeding 60 acres? Wow--it's enough to do 7 acres here.

cedrorum said...

I struggle a little with this one. I'm all about realizing that I can't control things. Although, while I can't control an employee, when they are getting paid to do something that is expected of them I think they have an obligation to fulfill their end of the deal.