Control Is (just a) Key

Sometimes the universe reminds you (or me) that control is nothing more than a key on a laptop that somehow gets a virus and will require $150 to fix only to be returned to you completely “renewed,” as in, all of your settings, downloads, documents, drafts of blog posts and some pictures are no longer part of the deal.


The mixture of this event and several others might leave you (or me) lying on the floor in the fetal position next to the cat, cursing Comcast while sobbing and apologizing for being a horrible cat mom.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

But then once you get those sobs out, you (or I) might realize that people in third world countries would kick your ass if they knew you were upset over losing half-written blog posts, having your credit card hacked (a different story) or cleaning up cat puke.

It could always be worse, but sometimes that’s hard to remember. Things add up and the straw that broke the camel’s back can often break you down. The realization that things are out of your control and less than ideal is annoying and frustrating.

It’s also pointless to fight.

A lot of my stress (and maybe yours) isn’t because I honestly feel like physical chaos will ensue when things go wrong, but rather that a situation won’t be (my version) of ideal and mental chaos will ensue.

So I plan things like having a post ready, make sure I can workout or that a meal won’t be rushed, eaten later than preferred or (gasp!) a disappointment. I like knowing that I can do “A” at time “B” and the result will be a predictable “C.”

Hello? Laptops getting sick, credit cards getting hacked and Snooki getting a spin-off show fit nowhere in that plan!

Anyway, after finding myself lying on the floor in the fetal position next to the cat, cursing Comcast while sobbing and apologizing for being a horrible cat mom—hypothetically speaking, of course—I had a thought. Well, two of them actually.

1) Wow, there’s a lot of catnip in this carpet.

2) How’s “predictable C” working out for me?

Of course at this point it wasn’t only about the laptop—although I was (and am) still kind of freaking out about that. No, it was the general realization—again—that sometimes you (or I) have to let go and just go with the flow.

Learning to accept the world as it is rather than being annoyed with it, stressed by it, mad at it or trying to change it into what we want it to be is really all we can do.

And I have to admit that my computer is running much faster. While this stinks, I can turn that around and say now I have an uncluttered canvas that can be filled with whatever might suit me right now. And we can continue the cheesy metaphor and say doing  a different “A” at time “B” can result in a new and improved “C.”

Exclamation point!

Of course at this point it’s still not only about the laptop and I’m still lying on the (now freshly vacuumed) floor. However, it’s not because I’m sobbing and losing my shit, but simply because I stood up and a piece of broccoli fell out of my shirt.

I can’t find it.

I’ve learned to accept this will happen. Not being annoyed with it, stressed by it, mad at it or trying to change it into what I want it to be is really all I can do until someone sends me a bib that can double as a superhero cape.

You pick your battles, people.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

28 responses to “Control Is (just a) Key

  1. I think you’re a fine cat mom. I can only imagine that the cat would periodically smash its face into the carpet, in a cat-like fashion, trying to get at the nip.

  2. You are, hypothetically, hilarious!

  3. Hahah good advice, but DAMN those things are annoying!

  4. I have an extremely difficult time accepting that some (many) things are beyond my control. You must teach me that whole “let it go” business.

  5. My mom always tells me to pick my battles. Also, if it helps, the Husband has been bugging me FOREVER to use Google Docs for writing blog post drafts. I just started as apparently it saves automatically. I try to copy stuff to my external hard drive every so often too. My laptop had a freak out a few weeks back and I thought it was a goner. While it has bounced back, I am still suspicious. I have no comment on the Snookie thing, because I have no idea who Snookie is. I mean, I’ve heard the name and all but the references are never good so I figured I’d be best to just stay in the dark.

  6. you’re great. thank you for sharing..

  7. Computer viruses. Not very nice and quite annoying. I’ve had one. No credit card hacked or anything so I remember wondering what the point was as they couldn’t even see me screwing up my face in frustration and banging the table in a mindless and needless way. From my perspective a little fetal position hysteria sound like an orderly and measured response to the situation and I salute you

  8. I have definitely done the sobbing on the floor while the cats stare at me thing. Haven’t in a while, mostly because the straw that breaks this camel’s back has been landing while at work lately and I have yet to lose my ability to at least remain standing at work. But, ya know, maybe I need to find some kind of hidden corner at the clinic for a fetal position melt down. It is a bit cleansing for the soul, I say.

  9. Whoa! That’s deep.
    p.s. I would be sobbing on the floor too.

  10. Although unsure of your competency in being a good cat mom or not, you MAY be an enabler furthering your cat’s addiction to catnip.

    Enabling is fun. Like taking a shopping addict to a Macy’s clearance sale (do they even have those?) Sorry about the computer issues though. They say a re-write is always better (glass half full or whine?)

  11. It always happens at once, otherwise you’d be fooled into think you had partial control or something.

  12. I’m constantly torn over what is more exhausting – being upset/annoyed by all the little things or trying to go with the flow. If going with the flow had an easy to execute four step plan I’d be much better at it.

  13. It really is all about perspective. I find that what helps me is to have one thing somewhere in my life that seems like it’s under control at all times. It’s not always the same thing, but if there’s at least one thing somewhere that’s behaving, the fact that other things are thumbing their noses at me doesn’t seem so bad!

    That said, I react poorly to computer problems. Thank heavens for Mozy!

    • Is “Mozy” what you call “beer?”

      • Ha! Well, I really lean toward sake over beer, but that doesn’t hurt either. I have, however, reconciled myself to the fact that I am just not a person who will back up my files regularly (laaaazy), and it’s totally worth it to pay for a service (I use Mozy) to do it for me. At least that way I am not in danger of losing a novel draft even if my computer catches some horrifying virus.

  14. You go, girl! Get those feelings out in the open! It’s so healthy for you! But try to spare the cat 😉

  15. Control is a fantasy (at least most of the time.) I too like to pretend that I can control things in my life. The tough life lesson is realizing that I can only control how I react to what happens. And, sometimes that seems almost impossible. Hence, I’m a neat freak around the house. It gives me the illusion that I’ve got everything together.

  16. The cat was probably glad to have company….but worried about sharing the catnip stashed in the carpet. (and wondering if you would still remember to fill the food bowl….and that, the cat ain’t sharing.)

  17. I’m sure you’re a fine cat mom. But I totally get where you’re coming from. I also like to be in control and I’m not. Not even a tiny bit. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, to let go of that need for control.

  18. P.S. Found your blog via the Not Mommy blog hop.

  19. Days like that, I run to my man Leonard Cohen.

    “You must learn to let go of the things that you cannot control
    It begins with your family but soon it comes down to your soul”

    Of course, he is being playfully honest and ironic at the same time and that’s why I love him. Learning your limits and not taking yourself too seriously helps a lot.

  20. I think you are an awesome “cat mom”. Also, you are totally hilarious.

    I am so sorry you lost all of your settings, downloads, documents, drafts of blog posts and some pictures. I would have FREAKED THE FUCK OUT. Hypothetically.

    “Learning to accept the world as it is rather than being annoyed with it, stressed by it, mad at it or trying to change it into what we want it to be is really all we can do.”

    Ah yes, if only I could remember THAT more often.

  21. Love this post and I can picture you laying on the floor with the cat! Believe me I can live without tv, food and sometimes the cat but if the laptop goes, I’m toast!

Talk to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s