“… and the Wisdom to know the difference”
I seem to be having a bit of trouble with this part. I honestly don’t know if it is because I don’t have the wisdom yet, or that I am still just uncomfortable with the process and results. In my recovery I am striving to give up my overbearing, overanalyzing, over-controlling nature. Often I believe the above traits just work, or do they? At what cost? (For those of you familiar or curious about the Big Book, of relevance is the description of the actor – starting at the end of page 60).
On to the story…
I handle the tournament registration for my middle son’s soccer team, and have done so for many years. The task culminates with the “tournament checkin” which involves going over the official roster, player cards, medical releases, guest player forms, etc. with the tournament official. Other people are responsible for making sure these things exist, as they are needed throughout the season, and for a tournament I simply need to collect and present them. In the past, the week before the tournament checkin would be filled with Lance stressing, calling the responsible parties, nagging, meeting for paperwork handoffs, checking, double-checking, etc. The tournament checkin always went very smoothly.
This weekend we had an out-of-town tournament, and since everyone with the pieces/parts would be there, I decided to practice my serenity. I would step back from my controlling ways and have some faith that it would all work out, that everyone would do what they were supposed to do. The checkin was a nightmare (for me). Rosters were incomplete, paperwork was disorganized and missing, etc. As the person checking in, I took ownership of this, the risk being that some families who had driven 3+ hours and rented hotels could not participate.
In the end, it all worked out, the tournament representative had the patience of a Saint. Of course I had to return to the parents and describe my 2 hours of “pure hell”. What a harrowing event it had been, how I had to go find a place to print forms and get them signed by parents. The torture of looking like an unorganized idiot in from of the tournament representative. Oh! It had never gone this way before (unspoken thoughts: not when Lance was in control!) And what a hero I was for pulling us from the brink of ultimate disaster at the 11th hour. Poor me – a drink worthy event for the alcoholic for sure!
When the stress hangover subsided, I started thinking it wasn’t all that bad. A few forms printed, signed, couple hours of time, couple of phone calls, etc. Maybe I had done the right thing after all….
You see, this is some of the thinking that makes my life seem so difficult. I tend to see things in black or white: either I control everything, or I let it go completely and FU if it turns to hell, it is your fault, you should have let me run the show – but here, let me play the victim and clean up “your mess”. Put simply, I could have helped people make sure we were prepared without being overbearing and controlling. I realize that the “Wisdom” is not a black and white thing as the words on the paper might suggest – it is about finding the balance that works for others AND for yourself.