My way of coping with life for the first 46 years was to try and control every second of it.
I was infamous for taking menus from friends at restaurants and doing the ordering for the whole table.
When I went on a holiday to Hawaii with my mother, I faxed her a list of what she needed to pack, down to how many pairs of sock and undies.
Potential flatmates were only allowed to move in if they agreed NOT to cook, because I didn’t want them messing with my grocery list.
Everything had to be done a certain way or my face would twitch.
It came in very handy when I was editing magazines – I knew what I wanted and I expected to get it.
But it can’t have been much fun for anyone dealing with me after hours.
I was so scared my life would spiral out of control if I let go.
What I’ve learned since my life went into a tailspin is that letting go and learning not to be so rigid is the opposite of panic-inducing, it’s actually quite relaxing.
This is just a small thing, but oddly momentous for me: last night I went out for dinner with the secret netball crew. We decided to have share plates. I suggested a dish I would like, but other people did the ordering. My dish didn’t make the cut. And I didn’t mind at all.
I just ate what arrived in front of me. Nothing twitched.
I’m not saying I’m cured. I still think my way is best, chuck out all the rest.
I don’t cope well with change.
I prefer things to be done a certain way.
Being late messes with my head.
But I’m learning to go with the flow.
The first giant step came when I couldn’t control my marriage ending.
The second giant step was meeting someone who makes all their decisions at the very last minute.
I have NO idea how DD lives like that, it’s my idea of hell on a stick.
But somehow he makes it work.
And magic often happens.
All those decades I wasted trying to control the uncontrollable.
Is it unseemly to giggle so much at almost 50?
But, as Martha would say, it’s pure delight.
Song of the day: The Motels “Total Control”