The Illusion of Control

The Illusion of Control

Last Friday, Gabrielle wrote about The Illusion of Control as her daughter Maude was in the hospital, and about how she (Gabby) sometimes turns to work when she needs a diversion from disillusionment …because, in her words…“I am in need of a distraction, and work is the only thing that sounds appealing, so I’m going to post a few things today to keep my head in a happy place and give me the illusion of a little bit of control over my life.”

I so get this. This also may explain why Gabby and I spent most of Sunday afternoon on Skype together. I needed some work therapy too.

In retrospect, I have, at different times, spent years (Literally. Years.) doing this exact thing…distracting myself in work. I’m still completely 100% prone to it, but now, I (at the very lamest least) see it happening and recognize what I’m doing. So it’s more of an aware choice that sleep living. But does this make it any better? Or way worse? Or is that really just a head-game way for me feel more in control of the collective non-control by being aware of the non-control? Jeez. Probably. (Also, I’m aware that non-control isn’t reeally the best word here, but the other options…helplessness, powerlessness, abandon, chance, neglect… are all super unappealing to me.) And now my head hurts.

And really, after all that meta rambling, the reality is: I just don’t know.

But I know, I’m thankful for creative work and true friends … because they both meet me where I am. And, as my first boss recently wrote (on her lovely post here):  Anything helps.

“We don’t always know what will help, but doing what can’t hurt is the practice.” -Karen Maezen Miller

“Work is good. It will keep you out of the pool hall.” -Lora Harper (My grandmother)

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6 Responses to The Illusion of Control

  1. Helen Jane says:

    That image is perfect for the chaos those of us that make our own (creative) paths endure.

    Also, I like to imagine that your method for overwork is better than the angry drunk businessman or the out of control angry lady.

    You do so much for us!
    (Thank you.)

  2. I am not only honored to be your first boss, I am honored to be your last boss. Which is to say, “I’m not the boss of you.” You’re perfectly out of control. Well done.

  3. Laura says:

    HJ: Mwah! You rule.

  4. Laura says:

    Karen, I look forward to seeing you in September.

  5. dahlila says:

    Work can be comforting–maybe, a little too much so. I’m not sure either.
    I like what your grandmother wrote: “it will keeps (us) out of the poolhall.”
    Nice observations.
    dahlila xo

  6. Add to this: Boredom is the road to illicit fornication which will just get you further into the mess you’re already in, which is loving children whose fate you can’t control.

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