is this my calling? Like Noah and the Ark?

Although a slacker/procrastinator, I’m also a perfectionist. If I’m involved in a project that involves leadership, I am the leader. If it’s something creative, I go all out in creating. I take art and aesthetic very seriously, even if it’s a simple stupid construction paper and magazine cut out collage. This doesn’t always mean what I produce is fantastic, but, well, it’s the best I’ve got.

Along the way, I’ve tried to change. Nobody like working with the asshole control freak. I don’t like being the asshole freak. I want to make art or creativity or any other project people are assigned to do with me a fun and exciting experience for all.

When I got asked to work on the bulletin board at work, I was legitimately excited about it. Call me a dork, but I really enjoy that kind of thing. A coworker and I paired up for the challenge and started dreaming away all the things we could do.

But between the insanity of actual work, my schedule and the other girl’s, and all general life things, all our planning and brainstorming got left until today to make into a masterpiece (it’s updated monthly…). So, we did our best to put things together and hurriedly put it together after lunch (we were busy in the a.m.) and before her 3 p.m. meeting.

The results were OK. I think we hit all the bases we needed and put a lot of interesting stuff up, but because we were rushed it got a little haphazard/sloppy. I found myself at moments wanting to freak out, and totally make it perfect, but I was able to step back and say, “It’s a bulletin board. At work. It’s OK.” Plus, I really get along with my coworker and why stress her out to satisfy my neurosis? Beyond that, we were having fun, so isn’t that what it’s really all about?

I was a little nervous walking away from it because it wasn’t “perfect,” but within minutes, people were ogling it, laughing at the responses we got to our questions. I think most people were excited that something new was up (it had been laying dormant since the summer…).

So, I was happy with my decision to consciously not be a control freak. I was proud of myself for taking the steps to “go with the flow” and to just enjoy something instead of having to take complete ownership for it and make it a total chore.

And then, about 10 minutes later, I ran into someone who wanted to tell me what they didn’t like about the job we did. And then I got pissed.

The thing that’s really gets me is that every time I’ve made the conscious decision not to care, I’ve then been confronted by someone about it. If I try to be “hands off,” it bites me in the ass, or someone ends up criticizing the final product. Once, I went on a trip with some friends and decided, after being super anal during planning, I would simply “enjoy the ride” when we got to our destinations. The friends then became suspicious and felt I was far too helpless/couldn’t handle traveling. I once helped plan an event with people I didn’t know very well, and in order to not come off as domineering, I let other people handle large aspects of the planning. This totally blew up in my face and I later learned that one of the people involved (who severely dropped the ball on numerous occasions) said they didn’t think I could handle my responsibility, which caused for the event to not go as planned.

Now, I will certainly not argue the things I’ve been called out for that I’m not good at: basic math, keeping my patience, getting to work on time. I am a woman of bountiful faults, of this I am sure. But I also know the things I’m good at. Planning, leading, and controlling, for better or worse, are among those things. I’m not saying these are the greatest qualities, but citing these attributes wouldn’t surprise the people in my life.

I just don’t understand why I always end up with these affirmations for why I should be a control freak. Is this God’s way of telling me it’s who I’m meant to be? Is this my Holy calling, like what Jonah or Noah experienced? Is this my destiny, my ark?

4 thoughts on “is this my calling? Like Noah and the Ark?

  1. Following is a nice respite for you. I am trying to do that more and not worrying so much about your reactions. If you don’t agree, then by jebus you will tell me.

  2. I knew I liked you! Our taste is music may differ and maybe we don’t have the same favorite color, but we’re both Type A, anal-retentive, borderline OCD, control freaks:)

    I am struggling with this as well. Especially since it has such a large impact on my kids! (Nothing like having kids to help you find all your faults in blinding full color.)

    I figure as long as we can find a job that uses the skills that come with our personalities, and try to keep in it check when it comes to things that are supposed to be fun, we’ll be okay.

    The problems arise when it comes to things that are in the gray zone. Like doing bulletin boards at work or being a board member on the school PTA. Because if it’s a volunteer thing, no one can/should complain about the quality of your work or the effort you offer.
    So there are people who don’t try much and don’t care or don’t have a clue that they’re letting people down. And that pisses people like us off b/c if you’re gonna volunteer, you should still do your best. And we *do* our best and get angry with ourselves if it’s not perfect. Then the same clueless MFer is the one who complains that they don’t like the job we did.

    Anyway, I feel your pain. Embrace it as often as you can and keep striving to improve otherwise.
    You know:
    God, grant me the courage to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  3. Hey Karen-

    Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone 🙂 I agree: the people who seem to care the least about something are always the first to pipe up and tell you how it should have been done different. Pffft to that.

    My mom used to have the serenity prayer ALL OVER THE PLACE (She was also a nurse…methinks in your line of work it’s necessary!!)

  4. I, as you probably know, am totally with you on this. I care far too much about shit, and when I try not to, it often backfires. So I’ve become even more obsessive. Like, it’s nearly impossible for me to give myself a break. I cancelled my screenprinting press time last night because I was feeling like crap and not really up for making it a 14 hour day, and then I felt guilty for not going. Even though it was my health in question.

    I’ve really been trying to tell myself to chill out about not caring or even taking a break once in a while, but it’s hard. It’s just from the fact that once people know they can count on you to do stuff to a high standard (or do it at all, or do it on time, etc), they never let you forget it if one time, god forbid, you slack a little like the rest of the world is always freaking doing. And then you start being unable to forgive yourself either.

    I guess we just have to start caring less about the assholes who call us out on it, really.

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