We spend so much of our life trying to control things only to grow older and wiser and realize there’s actually very little we can control. We spend our lives creating routines only to have to get rid of so many in order to go with the flow of whatever we are faced with that day. It’s hard to do but letting go of that control finally gives us control in our lives.
We enter a relationship and adjust our schedules to spend time with this new person in our life. We become parents and routines for ourselves go out the window as we get no sleep, very little time to ourselves and get used to constant interruptions for food, more screen time, diapers that need to be changed, etc.
In the health classes I taught, we would discuss risk factors for disease. We can control if we smoke or not, our diet, how active we are, etc. Despite trying to limit my risk factors and live a healthy lifestyle I got cancer. I felt like my health was out of control despite trying to control it for years.
But I quickly realized I can control how I respond to my diagnosis. I can stay positive and live as normal as possible. I continue to work out every day. I have tried eating healthier and you would think I’m trying to become Popeye with how much spinach I’ve been consuming. I can’t control my diagnosis or treatment but I am focusing on kicking this cancer’s ass not on how much it sucks and how unfair, exhausting and shitty it all is. I’ve learned to let go and focus on the little I can control.
I remember the end of my college xc races when my coach would always be about 800 meters from the finish line. Often he would be yelling about turnover or tracking down a runner or runners ahead. In our regional meet my senior year, which was one of my best races ever, I remember him yelling “just roll with it, keep rolling.” I felt completely confused. He’s not yelling to go, or chase anyone down or turn over, what does this mean? It meant to just keep it going as I was in a good place and position as was our team (We went on to be Region champs!).
In life one of the hardest things to do is let go of the control we work so hard to establish. We have to learn to roll with what we are faced with. Sometimes the rolling is when we are in a good position and other times, things aren’t good but we still need to find a way to keep on track and control what we can.
As I have been with every delivery and end of pregnancy, I am incredibly nervous and scared because I don’t have control. Labor is brutal and I worry how I’ll have the energy this time while going through cancer. I also have no idea how this baby will be: will he sleep well, be fussy, eat well. I can’t breastfeed for the first time and am worried about formula feeding which is new to me with a newborn. But I can’t control any of this, I can just prepare as best as I can and roll with it. The doctors and nurses will handle the delivery and it’s one less thing I should worry about.
As Elsa, one of my daughters’ favorite princesses reminds us in Frozen, let it go. Let the storm rage on, the cold never bothered me anyway. Storms will come our way and may disrupt the control we work so hard to have but letting go is the only way we really get control of our lives. And then we learn to just roll with life and it’s ups and downs, it’s good and bad times.