This week as been an exercise in, and wake-up call to, just how little control I actually have. When I think of how many things I've tried exerting control over - people, situations, money, people (deserves to be mentioned twice, if not more), the creative spirit, discipline, my voice, what food I put in my mouth, what thoughts whirl around in my bean - I can see the folly of my repeated efforts.
Mother Nature has proven this week, with two blazing examples of her might - an earthquake on Tuesday, and now hurricane Irene, whose effects will be felt even here on Spruce Street tonight and tomorrow - that I actually hold little, or (gasp!) no, control over w-a-a-a-a-y more than I'd care to admit. So, the lesson from Irene is this - preparation is key.
Standing in line at Trader Joe's and CVS, stocking up on non-perishable foods, batteries and water (and, yes, a bottle of wine, too) I was feeling like an alarmist, since the day was so sunny and nice. I couldn't help thinking that it seemed like just another significant forecast that wouldn't end up being what had been anticipated as The Storm of the Century.
But the thing is, you just never know. So I lugged home my booty, and now I'm hunkered down, and prepared for a power outage and flooding.
On the 4th floor.
So how, then, does preparation play a part in giving up control?
It's being prepared, doing all that's possible, and then letting go to let the Fates step in...whether it's nature, an agent I'm auditioning for, a potential buyer for my jewelry, or a situation that I'm invested in working out in a particular way. I can really only do my best to be as prepared as possible.
So, I have potable water and batteries, and will be comfy here at home come what may. For the agent, staying in good vocal shape and knowing my repertoire cold allows me freedom to express and (dare I say it?) enjoy an audition. Having gorgeous new pieces of jewelry ready to show at my retail outlets, or on hand when a new client wants to see my work, gives me freedom from having to create on the fly.
It's one of those ironic things of opposition, I guess. Trying to control can only bring frustration, and giving up control can only bring freedom.
But only with preparation!