I bring situations to a conclusion if I have to drag the other participants kicking and screaming. They don’t understand how hard it is–that uncertainty. They can ignore it and still sleep at night. I will worry, cajole, fret and badger until the outcome is set in stone. It doesn’t matter if I don’t like it. At least I know what it is. It’s called being proactive.
I was part of a group that was planning an outing. It was an event I was looking forward to. It was rather informal, apart from a few logistical issues, it shouldn’t have required much energy to pull it off. One of the members, however, began sending long missives about all of the things we needed to do, what order they needed to be done in and why they needed to be done RIGHT NOW.
The next thing I knew, my mailbox was filled with responses, replies to the responses, and another string of suggested dates, responses to those responses, etc. I kept thinking that if this individual would just wait, instead of push, the pieces would have fallen into place. It’s called being a pain in the ass.
I complained to a friend, who said, “Delete the emails. That’s what I do.”
Then I had that moment where I realized, crap, I am exactly the same. Not so fun on the other end of the cattle prod.
I thought about how many times I’ve pushed a point, only to regret it later, realizing that some things happen in their own time. I cannot make the music delivery come faster, or the coaches decide the All Star lineup any sooner, any more than I can make the rain stop falling. It’s called being patient.
My wise friend then asked if this was really my problem to solve. The answer was no.
It’s like a pendulum. You move the ball at one end and the momentum transfers through the stationary balls to the one at the other end. If I’m one of those middle balls, my independent movement is wasted at best, and at worst, creates one of those snarls where you can’t figure out how to get the balls free to move again.
So I will make myself some tea and wait. Oh look, there’s another email. delete.
Words by J. B. Everett
Photograph “Balance” by Evonne © 2007 Creative Commons