The Supermodel and I are celebrating our tenth anniversary tomorrow. (Please, please … hold your applause until the end of the blog.) We’ve been looking forward to this for almost a year — okay, actually we’ve been looking forward to it for TEN years, but it’s only in the last year that we’ve actively thought about how we want to commemorate the occasion.
And the answer kept coming up: road trip! We have wanted to make one of those weeks-long visit-everything-we-can-possibly-visit excursions for I don’t know how long, but between having kids and not having enough money, we were never able to manage it. But we’re going to do a mini-version this weekend. Tomorrow morning, my mom (aka “Grandma Sue”) will come down to watch the kids, we’ll hop in the car and take off, not to return until Sunday evening.
Where are we going? No idea.
Seriously, we don’t know. We haven’t planned anything except taking a look at weather reports for the region, all of which are about the same since the entire Southwestern U.S. is getting hit with the first really big rainstorm of the winter. (We occasionally joke that it ALWAYS rains on our anniversary, just as it did for our wedding. We occasionally joke — the rest of the time it’s not funny.) So that settled nothing. All we’ve locked in is that we’re pointing the car south to start with. We could end up visiting the Grand Canyon or Ensenada, Las Vegas or Los Angeles, San Diego or Solvang. Or some combination of several of them. The possibilities are semi-endless.
Some of you may find the thought of a three-day road trip with no concrete destination nerve-racking. A couple of years ago, I would’ve too.
I used to be an Olympic-level control freak. Part of it is just my natural personality — I tend to be an organizer, a listmaker, a person who thrives on structure. I may even have a touch of Asperger’s Syndrome (a mild form of autism). Add to that extensive training in control freakhood — namely, being a child of an alcoholic AND a child of divorce — and I got goooood at it. Much to the consternation of everyone who had to deal with me, to be honest. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve been realizing how much I was sabotaging myself by my own obsessiveness. Had my track continued as it was, I suspect I would have ended up divorced , friendless, and maybe with some kind of OCD, I dunno. I wouldn’t have had a happy life, I’m pretty confident of that.
So what happened? Life happened — rather forcefully. During a separation from my wife and daughter (my son wasn’t around yet), I discovered how much damage my controlling could inflict on a marriage. A few job losses taught me the same lesson in regard to work. Friends who stopped writing or calling — and told me why — helped me with the social aspect. In short, I got at least an undergraduate degree from the University of Hard Knocks in How Counterproductive Being a Control Freak Is. Paid my tuition myself, but at least I have the diploma.
And at the same time, when I started letting go of things (or at least holding them more loosely), I was surprised to find that the earth didn’t fall off its axis and hurtle into the sun. What? You mean the universe can cope just fine without me doing everything? You mean that there already is a God, and He doesn’t need me to pretend I’m Him? Wowser. Welll … maybe I’ll just, um … go take a nap then. That’d be cool. And the more I recognize that, the more I recognize that I don’t have to do anything except take care of my responsibilities — do my job (when I have one), take care of my kids, love the Supermodel, occasionally fix something around the house, make sure I get my car’s oil changed every 3,000 miles or so. If I take care of my bidness (as the rappers say) and everyone else takes care of theirs, things will go just fine. And no one’s appointed me Everyone Else’s supervisor, so until they do I’m not going to sweat it.
That why I have the peace of mind to hop in the car tomorrow and just say, “hey hon, what on the map looks good to you?” As long as we get back Sunday night, it’s all good. Everything in the middle … we’ll take it as it comes.
And I bet it’s going to be fun, too. ‘Cause when you’re not swamped trying to do everything, it’s amazing the things you can accomplish …
See you on Monday!