mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Out of control..

A few days ago, I found myself staring out the windows. had been predicting an 80% chance of heavy freezing rain, sleet, and ice, starting around midnight. So before I went to bed, I was peeking out the window, seeing if anything was falling, trying to get an idea of what I would wake up to - a normal day of work, a delayed opening, a day off from work. But there was nothing I could do but stare at the parking lot of my townhouse complex and wonder what, if anything, would fall from the sky while I slept.

It was a reminder that you can't control everything in life, that no matter how much you plan or how much you want or don't want certain things to happen, there truly are things that are out of your control.

The trick, of course, is figuring out what things are and aren't, and what you can control. When I was severely overweight, I had a somewhat fatalistic view of that - I tended to think that everything was out of my control and nothing was my fault. After that, I started to view things the opposite way - that if I could lose 100 pounds, much of which I had been carrying since I was just a little madanthony, then I could do anything. Of course, with power comes responsibility - if I'm in control, than anything I haven't achieved is because I haven't worked hard enough. If I'm single, it's because I haven't worked hard enough at being attractive and interesting enough to be date-able (or haven't followed the steps to being a pick up artist). If I'm not where I want to be career-wise, it must be because I don't have enough degrees or take too much time off or otherwise haven't worked hard enough to be management material.

But the reality of life is that it is a combination of luck and skill, of being at the right place and the right time and of doing the right things to put yourself in the right place. There are things we don't control - things like the weather. And also things like the economy, and our genes. For some of those things, we can try to overcome those things - forcing ourselves to be more outgoing if we are, well, me, or spending more time at the gym if we are, well, me again.

For other things, all we can do is stock up on salt and shovels and peek out the window, and set our alarms a little early in case we've got ice to scrape before we go to work.


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