Tiny worries

The summer I was eight, a semi-distant relative drove several time zones over to deliver a handcrafted dollhouse. There were other reasons for the visit, but I hardly noticed once my parents centered the dollhouse on a table in my room and put a chair in front of it. I’m pretty sure I mentally moved into that house and never left until summer ended and I was forced back to school.

I created many adventures in that dollhouse, many of them involving tartily-dressed Glamour Dolls and the hideously deformed dad-doll that came with the house. Let’s just say he was one lucky dude.

I spent hours rearranging the attic or the kitchen or the bathroom, which was also sometimes the baby’s room. My dollhouse may not have been sanitary but it was very organized, the byproduct of a budding control freak.

My fantasies blossomed and I started thinking how perfect it would be if I had a real family of miniature people living in my dollhouse. The dad could ride to work every morning on an electric train looping through my room. Underneath my bed would be the tunnel, of course. I’m not sure what kind of job he’d be going to, but there was a lot of stuff underneath my bed so I’m sure he could have found something to do, had he existed.

My point here is this: I have always had control issues.

I still love dollhouses and built one for my daughter when she was so little, her and a friend broke the front door off in the first week. I also love dioramas and recently found an app that lets me arrange a virtual city however I like. ย Mine has several factories, a movie theatre, a really lovely park, and even its own clown college.

Currently I am finding an obscene amount of pleasure in planning a family trip. All those delicious details, so tiny and perfect and all mine because no one else is crazy enough to want to deal with them. Control can be good!

But what about all the worry I’m expending on those details just outside my control? Oh dear god, there are so many. Will our flight leave on schedule, will we even make it to the airport on time, will our room be ready, etc. etc.ย infinity.

I tend to hear what I need to hear, and lately my blogroll reading has focused heavier than usual on control issues. Giving it up, taking control, wanting more, being sick to death of thinking we have control over much at all.

The contradictory nature of this is that as much as I love control, letting go of the worry allows peace. There is room for both, and I believe I’ll get to that balance if I stay open and honest with myself on why I want control in the first place.

Here I am commandeering a tiny house and cat and even a shirt with tiny tennis racquets on it and see how happy I look?

13 thoughts on “Tiny worries

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  1. What a gorgeous story, and so beautifully told.

    “The contradictory nature of this is that as much as I love control, letting go of the worry allows peace.” So true, threebee. And so with you on the control issues. It feels like a lot of things are out of control in my life at the mo, so it has been a good learning to try to go with the flow. Not entirely successful all the time, but workin’ on it.


  2. this is a recurring theme, you’re right ๐Ÿ™‚ i feel like i’m so much in control in my daily life, that i hate planning vacations and refuse to make any decisions when traveling. i book flights and hotels but then we rely on on-the-ground recommendations for what to see and where to eat. my husband holds the map (i can’t be bothered navigating). he decides when and where we eat, and how we’ll walk to where we’re going. we have even arrived in a city before without a map, and just started walking from the train station until we found our hotel (now remember, we’re in europe where cities have real, functioning transit systems). I arrived in Amsterdam not knowing that it was in Holland (i know, i know). the contradiction for me is that in my real life, i control lots of things – the business, the money, international paperwork. and probably like you, BBB, i grew up in a home where i felt like i had to take control early, and now it’s just engrained in me … until i go on vacation, that is, and then i turn into the world’s biggest blog …


  3. Oh I love this post: the whole dollhouse part and mentally moving into it. And the control issues. The rearranging and perfecting. We are so much alike. Wow.

    As much as you are fretting about the things you may not be able to control on your trip, you still have that great (new through recovery?) awareness that shit happens and sometimes you just have to roll with it. So healthy!

    Love that picture. Need to go get my cheaters so I see the tennis rackets…middle age…oh vey



  4. Great. Now I want a Barbie Dream House and a shirt with tennis racquets on it. (I already have the cat.)
    I love making plans. I make so many plans in my head, but I often forget to tell other people. When they make other plans or decide something different, I freak out. Internally usually, but my husband has started noticing “that look” on my face, so maybe externally too. That’s the bad thing for me about making plans; things rarely go exactly according to plan.
    I still make my plans though. I am lost if I am running (literally) without a plan. Left to my own devices I over or under train, I feel all floaty and meandering, and I don’t know how to measure my success or needs for improvement. I couldn’t for the life of me train for a marathon without a training plan.
    Enjoyed the post!


  5. I love the picture and the beautiful story. I had the very same experience with my dolls; I lived and breathed those things for years I tell you. I still have them all, too ๐Ÿ™‚ Since we didn’t have a surplus of money to buy all the extra accessories for my dolls, I had to be creative. I would take Ziploc bags, fill them with water, and make water beds (it was 1978 for crying out loud.) I would take my brothers’ Hot Wheel tracks and attach them to fences and make ski slopes. I also made Jacuzzis out of Popsicle sticks. I lived in southern California so I could play outside most days out of the year. I miss those days.

    At about 10 years of sobriety I lost my need to control. I can’t tell you what happened. Maybe it went the way of my marriage and ex husband lol. All I know is that my OCD and audio loop in my head have vanished. I am a lot like a pot head without the pot. Slow, a bit lazy, and cool with most everything. The downside is that my days of a meticulously clean house are gone and many household chores get put off until the last minute ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Like a lot of other things letting go takes time, awareness and new challenges to slowly bring about change. I am good for the most part, not quite so anal about being somewhere a bit early, learning to not let my expectations mess up my serenity, as my sponsor always says “it will be the way it will be, don’t get your undies in a twist.” I have had a bit challenge in this lately dealing with how my 21 year old daughter is acting irresponsible as a mother and living in my house. I finally got to the point of surrender but it took a bit of mental anguish to surrender, I took it as another lesson in growth.

    I learned to do simple focus mediation early in recovery to help me stay in the moment and not worry about things in future, this help with anxiety. I focus on the task at hand whether it is doing the dishes, working on a report or simply drinking a cup of coffee, just focus on my breathing and all aspect of what I am doing. Thich Nhat Hanh has some really good books on simple basic mediation, they are easy to read and understand, they are Buddhist in nature but not overly so which allows Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike to apply his teachings to every day life. .

    Like this post, your awareness to very good!


  7. I, having been in the rooms for ten years, have realized that control is a universal character defect of we addicts. I was reading my old journals the other day and am ASTOUNDED at the personal growth in this very area. Still an incredible work in progress, but wow, I have come long way. Its the paradox of recovery, really. Surrender, accept powerlessness; gain peace and serenity. First time reader, happy I found you


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