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Toss Me a Life Jacket

Everyone in my family is used to me being the cruise director. I’m the organizer – I make sure that practices are attended, meals are planned, and work schedules are coordinated. Let’s face it; I do this not out of some great sense of loyalty to my family, but because I’m a huge control freak.

The hours of therapy I spent trying to overcome this obsession are mind-numbing. When I have my head screwed on straight, I can minimize my urges, but when life gets squirrely, it is one of the first coping mechanisms I reach for.

If I make the perfect plan, I clutch at the illusion that I can direct the chain of events. I bitch and moan about being the one who gets the Fast family from point A to B, but it’s all me, the men in my family could care less. They can hang out in their jammies (swim trunks in the summer) all weekend, throw a steak on the grill around 6 p.m. and as long as the TV remote is close by, it is about as perfect of a day as it gets.

The term cruise director indicates a certain level of festivity, which is not indicative of what has been occurring within the Fast family. I’m pretty sure they would prefer me to leave them the hell alone while I wait for my current life situation to calm down. How do I stay afloat, and avoid going ape shit on them or have them kick me to the curb because they can’t stand to be around me?

Every morning since we set sail on this little pleasure voyage, I tell myself to relax. I send myself positive energy and remind myself that I have no control over what is happening right now. Sometimes I even think I’m doing a pretty good job – I remind myself to keep my filter in place with Lyle and Russell, but then I glance up and see it in their eyes. They are trying to get off the freaking ship. It is no consolation to them that I am spewing only a small portion of what I’m thinking. The fraction that is flying at them is enough to send them overboard without a lifejacket.

Taking my stress out on my family doesn’t help any more than hot fries from McDonalds. Exercise helps a bit, but I can really only spend so much time on my stationary bike without developing a horrible case of rump rash. My family room is screaming to be painted, but I don’t know if I can be trusted with a paint brush. I tried paint therapy one other time in my life, which just created more work for me once the crisis passed. I feel like I need to keep occupied, but in a fun way, which may be challenging since I’m not too fun to be around, and I can’t escape from me.

Maybe I’ll warn my family to take cover and I will take a couple long walks with my iPod. I haven’t downloaded my music yet on my iPhone, perhaps this is the perfect way to spend my time. It will get me out of the house moving my body giving Lyle and Russell the respite I’m sure they need. Win-win.

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