The art of racing in the rain

Seems to me that the older I get, the more I recognize that sometimes I just don’t have to deal with things with which, when I was younger, it would have seemed absolutely incumbent upon me to deal:

  1. I don’t have to accept invitations to social events that I don’t want to attend just because there is no apparent reason I can’t go. 
  2. This is true even if there might be some non-recreational reason to go, such as professional networking.  (Of course, there are still things I feel a responsibility to attend.)
  3. I don’t have to argue with people just because I happen not to share their points of view.
  4. I certainly don’t have to try to correct people’s every misunderstanding.
  5. I don’t have to correct every mistake on a student paper, and in fact there are often sharply diminishing returns to doing so.
  6. I don’t have to try to fix every problem of which I become aware.
  7. If the “problem” falls directly into someone else’s area of responsibility, there are times when it’s good to let that person know of the problem, times when it’s appropriate to offer to help fix that problem, and times when the best response is to turn a blind eye to the problem altogether.
  8. People sometimes bring me problems, thinking (or fooling me into thinking) that they want advice or help, but what they really want is someone to listen, and if they don’t recognize that at first, sometimes I can.

I suppose that what all this adds up to is that I am a recovering control freak?


3 responses to this post.

  1. Wow — as a not-yet-recovered control freak, can I say what a great list this is? In fact, I think I should print it out and pin it up by my desk. Numbers 3, 4, and 6 cause me great difficulty, although sometimes with a lot of deep breathing I can do them.


  2. Posted by meansomething on February 2, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Numbers 6 and 7, which overlap anyway, are the hot buttons for me these days. I’m not very recovered, you know!


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