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. 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. 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.