February 02, 2006

Control Freak

This is a different kind of post. Or at least in my mind it is.

I was just over reading livtorun's blog and her post today titled "It's my life". In it she writes about how she has been tasked by her psych class to imagine what her ideal future would be like, establish the goals such a future would require, and create realistic strategies for attaining those goals. And it surprised me, because I was just thinking about that kind of thing this morning.

I am a self-proclaimed control freak. I have no desire to control anyone else's life, but just my own. I often think about things in the realm of "my perfect little world". Hey, I know I'm a perfectionist and not ashamed to admit it, but at the same time I try not to infringe on anyone else's right to be sloppy or mismanaged. What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. Anyway, back to the assignment.

I've imagined as long as I can remember what my ideal future would be like. When I was 15, I used to think about the year 2000 and how I would be 24, living in a big city, single, and be a stock broker. That didn't happen the way I envisioned it. When I was 19 I got married and my "ideal future" kindof turned upside down. I lived for the moment, the week, the month...but there was no "where do I want to be in 5 years?" I never thought I would get married, so when I did I lost all of those daydreams about the future. All of those goals and plans I had made in high school were gone, and I think I was mad that things didn't turn out the way I thought they would (I was a perfectionist back then too). Most people would probably just change their mode of thinking from "the ideal future for ME" to "the ideal future for US". I didn't. It's a long sorted story, that frankly would just put me to sleep if I had to tell it. And besides that, it doesn't matter anymore. It was the past. This is now. And I'm a better person for everything that has happened to and around me.

So, now that I've been on my own for a couple of years, all of those daydreams about the future seem to have found their rightful place back in my head. I mostly think about a future with my career, because I am at a point where I could take it or leave it. I love my job, but the pressure to move overseas, get numerous certifications, get advanced degrees, shoot for being one of the top people in my profession is overwhelming sometimes. As far as my agency is concerned my two options are: 1) move up that corporate ladder, maybe with a spouse who i will eventually be divorced from (because most of our higher ups are ) and no kids (cause that would get in the way)...but hey, i would get to travel a ton all over the world and be respected and recognized in my profession for what i do or 2) stick around, find that knight-in-shining-armour and have babies. Really, in a nutshell that is way it works. And over the last couple of years I've had numerous opportunities look me right in the face for option #1 and I've gotten scared and backed down. Not sure why, but I have. And then sometime last year when I was traveling all the freakin time it dawned on me that I was not having quite as much fun as I thought I would. And even more so, I had so many goals and ideal future scenarios running around in my head that I was beginning to get bogged down. There were too many roads at the intersection. And I didn't know which road to take (coincidentally, I wouldn't have been running down those roads either cause I was a pack a cigarettes deep in a nasty addiction this time last year).

I know...I know...when am I going to get to the point???

Insert a new found love for running (and getting closer to my point!). It makes me happy to run. I could have quite possibly never known that it makes me so happy if I hadn't had any encouragement to start training (thanks T). While I'm running I get to spend alot of time daydreaming about my ideal future. Running has afforded me the opportunity to let some of the control go and focus on one thing: running. It is so odd how simple it is. And how complicated I used to make everything. Now I run. And I run for me. As far as my ideal future goes, there are alot of things that I want to do and those things will change daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, but now there will always be a constant for me: running. And I finally realized that my ideal future could be imagined anyway I wanted it to be, which included (or in this case excluded) any reference to work.

So, here is my ideal future:

In my ideal future I will be able to tell people that I have run marathons in all 50 states and in some foreign countries. I will be debt free. I may or may not be married, and if I'm not it will strictly be because I have chosen to not repeat my mistakes from the past. If I am married, I'll have some kids (I don't know how many, because I think that's God's job to quantify it). I will be healthy.
Strategies to attain these goals will be to continue training for marathons, which will in turn ensure that I keep myself healthy. Continue with training logs, running diaries, keeping up with RBFers and other running friends that I've made and will make along this journey. Strategies for becoming debt free are to continue with the class that I'm currently attending (Financial Peace University [Dave Ramsey]) and continuing on the plan to maintain financial peace for the rest of my life. I don't think I can set goals for the married/kids stuff (and I wouldn't even dare to think of strategies for that kind of stuff...that just sounds psyco creepy!)

Assignment complete. (and I'm also giving myself an A+ on this one :)


Jim said...

You have me thinking about my "ideal future". Now I have to the assignment. It will be tough but I will try to get it done tonight. However, I reserve the right to adjust it!

Miss hearing from you.

Liv said...

I give you an A+ too... you have done an amazing job turning your life around for the better and I'm sure you will be successful due to your determination!

Liv said...

And by the way... also wanted to congratulate you on the 8 miles... you have every right to brag - I think I've done a "long run" if I go 8 kilometres!! :)

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