A control freak learns to go with the flow (sort of)

About a million years ago, my husband and I both lived in cheap crappy apartments in the historic West Central neighborhood in Fort Wayne, a couple of blocks from the newspaper building where we’ve both worked (in my case, on and off) ever since.

Over the weekend I went to a get-together at an artist friend’s funky West Central home and, after hanging out in the back yard for a while and realizing that due to a Facebook mixup it was unlikely anybody else was going to show, we walked a few blocks downtown to a free concert on the library plaza.

The fact that I’m even mentioning this shows how boring my life is these days, I’m sure. Still, this is of interest to me for two reasons:

  1. It was fun to walk somewhere in an urban setting again after not doing much of that this century. (So far in June I’ve logged three low-carbon walking miles, but I’ve driven a truly startling amount:  576 miles. In nine days. Yikes! )

2. It was really cool how  Janeen just rolled with the way the evening developed, even when it wound up straying so far from her original plans.

Needless to say, that’s not something I’m very good at. I hate when my workouts don’t go the way I hoped – or even worse, don’t happen at all. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, really. I’m pretty much an all-around control freak, even though our kids are getting old enough that it’s no longer necessary (if it ever was).

On Monday I had formed a typically overly complicated plan for celebrating Cassie’s 15th birthday, with all six of us meeting up at a park for a pizza picnic followed by a swim at the birthday girl’s favorite pool, the Jorgensen YMCA. Naturally I had an ulterior plan for getting in some triathlon training, but I resisted the urge to call and remind the kids to load up the bikes and decided to just see how things panned out.

As it turned out, they did remember to bring the bikes. But Colleen and I decided to scrap our “training agenda” and just enjoy the day, and so instead of swimming a bunch of laps the girls and I wound up splashing around in the pool “vortex,” where we got in about an hour of water running just in the process of having fun.

The day didn’t go off quite the way I expected, but we made a great birthday memory and got a decent amount of exercise nonetheless. Ultimately, it’s all about learning to make the best of what comes your way rather  than trying to impose a preformed idealized template over the day and then invariably being disappointed – not to mention missing out on surprises that you could never imagine.

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