How Letting Go Gives You More Control

I find it interesting that June Cleaver seems to have returned from the dead. So many young women are repeating a history that I’ve long left behind. They work; take care of their homes; and enroll their children in sports, accelerated learning classes, music lessons and God knows what else so that the little ones can graduate from kindergarten with high honors.

These moms drive their children to and from these numerous events in their big SUVs while complaining how tired they are (or they spend hours on the phone deciding whose turn it is to carpool). If that’s not enough, add in going to the gym, trying to manage the home front and being sexy if they can manage to stay awake.

As a result, many of today’s young women are suffering from anxiety and depression. Gee, I can’t imagine why! I spent years believing that no one could do anything without my direction, and whatever needed to be taken care of would be done best by me. Age has not only tempered this mind set, but also for many of my female friends who’ve realized that no one’s going to reminisce about how perfect they were. Much of life is like a movie or a play, and we become the characters with a story line we’ve memorized. It’s often difficult to change the dialogue because the rest of the players are used to you giving them their cues.

It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t want to be known for how perfect I was, because it was really an illusion. My goal now is to be remembered as a wild, zany, eccentric mother and grandmother.

No one is perfect, nor should they want to be. It’s a goal that only leads to anxiety and makes the people around you wish you’d be abducted by aliens. Life is so much more fun when you loosen up and lighten up. The ultimate irony is that when you’re flexible, you’re actually more productive, and your friends and family will feel more relaxed and comfortable.

About lorettalaroche

An international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, ‘Get a Life’.

This entry was posted in Change, Get a Life, Perfection and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to How Letting Go Gives You More Control

  1. Jeanette Young says:

    I thought there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t be perfect. It started in grade school with “real nuns”. It has taken me many bumps in the road to just try & be the best me I can be. God bless you Judy for being a surviver.

    Bonnie if you are reading this, you sound so angry! Not every family with both parents working are buying SUV’s & ignoring there responsibilities. I have three daughters with small children we work hard at both their job outside the home and at being a good mom. This world has changed greatly since I became a mom over 40 years ago.

    I think women should stick together and help each other not be at odds with home moms and working out side the home moms. We all work hard to do the best we can.

  2. JudyB says:

    Loretta, so right you are! For me, it took a breast cancer diagnosis to realize I couldn’t be “super woman”, and that I really didn’t WANT to be her. I have learned to “lighten up”, enjoy and appreciate the little things in life, and stop taking myself so seriously…if I want to wear my bright red sandals with a purple and red shirt, then I’m going to do it and I don’t care what anyone else thinks! It makes ME happy and that’s all that matters. I am, however, still somewhat “driven” to accomplish a certain number of things – but at MY chosen speed, not what I “preceive” other people think I should be doing. If my house isn’t perfect, so what? You came over to visit ME, not my house, right?

    I pity these young women today, they have over-scheduled themselves and their children to the point they are beyond exhausted, walking – and driving – around with what I call a “glazed” look on their faces, as if they haven’t got a clue where they are or what they are doing. Really sad.

    I have two favorite sayings that I’d like to share with the readers and I hope everyone reading them sees them for being HUMOROUS and telling them to get out there and have some FUN:

    “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out shouting “Holy @$%&! What a ride!”

    “God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things…right now I’m so far behind I’ll never die”!

  3. Bonnie says:

    I get your point about over stressed parents and over scheduled kids,, but what does it have to do with June Cleaver? She was a stay at home mom who cooked and cleaned and didn’t worry about where her kids were unless they didn’t come home by dinner time, or right after the street lights came on.
    These days, many moms and dads staying home to raise their children don’t see it as a burden, but a luxury!

    The sad truth is that many parents don’r realize they can afford to have have one parent stay home while the other works by making little sacrifices like not buying take out food every night nor buying that new SUV
    they don’t need.. But to hell with that! Let’s just keep being self centered and let the kids fend for themselves.

    Go ahead and take your children for granted and if one of them dies, you’ll miss the time you didn’t spend with them. Then, you might realize that keeping up with the Joneses isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  4. Mary Sankus says:

    I spent far too long busily hating myself that in some way I may be less that I might be as a wife,mother, daughter, sister, worker, etc. Eventually, I was fighting depression & experiencing suicidal ideation … I don’t get those years back. Now as a Grandmother – I look for what is wonderful in any direction. Am divorced, not yet gainfuly employed, no longer needed to help my daugher with her children (we co-habit)but open to all good & fun in every moment. I have permission to nap if exhausted, exercise to use my body & smile for no reaon. Thanks for your inspiration, Loretta

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  6. marye says:

    YAY! Awesome. At 50 I am looking back thinking… GEEZ! What was I thinking? Thank you for this. I hope younger women get it before it’s too late.

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