As a frequent traveler with literally millions of logged miles, I am quite comfortable with the whole travel scene. I maneuver through an airport like the best of them as I know most of inter-terminal systems and the location of the Delta Crown Rooms in the event of a delay. And in the event of a missed connection; I have my Delta representative on my speed dial, ready to help me with an alternate flight.
As I approach the security check, my shoes are off, my clear plastic toiletries bag is easily accessible, and my laptop is placed in a separate plastic bin. Once I board the plane, I stow my carry-on, placed my attaché under the seat in front of me, and request three bottles of water. My phone, in “off” position, is with my iPad in the seat pocket in front of me, as I settle in with a plan to make good use of the flying time.
I religiously pay attention as the flight attendant describes the airplane emergency procedures and mouth the words along with her. I know them as well as I know the Our Father. A long time ago when I realized that I would be spending considerable time in and between airports, I created a pack-to-unpack process that enables me to get anywhere and back efficiently, usually without mishap. As much as I can be, I am in control of my travel experience. My process serves me well.
Too often as women we find ourselves feeling as though we are controlled by the outside world, being tugged here, there and everywhere. The mom at home is concerned about chaperoning her child’s field trip when she has so many other pressing things to do. The loose tile in the front foyer remains on her husband’s
“To Do” list because he hurt his back playing basketball and rendered himself helpless, and she is trying to attend the medical appointments of her aging parents. She adhered the neighborhood watch sticker to her front window, but secretly wishes she would be kidnapped away from all of this. She feels out of control.
Similarly, the woman who works outside the home is concerned about raising the productivity level of her sales team, rattled about being away all week at a conference, and worried getting promoted in her male-dominated industry. Other women who are not employed and do not have children may appear as though they have a stress free life, but in all actuality they may row competitively and feel jerked around by their captain for 5:00am practices and far too many competitive races than their bodies can endure.
Like a frequent traveler who has created a process that enables her to be in control as much as possible, the woman at home, in the office, and on the rowing team need to do likewise. The happiest women are those who feel in control of their lives, and therefore developing processes that eliminate most of the surprises and mishaps is helpful. It is time for me to take stock of where I need additional processes to minimize the chance of feeling out of control. One example for me would be to develop a process for responding to invitations. The new process might be to not agree immediately when invited to a luncheon or party, but rather take a look at my month and insure I have enough going on to have fun, yet not so much that I feel I am constantly running from one good time to another. I do not wish to lose my spontaneity but sometimes I feel out of control when I am attending functions I really do not wish to attend, all because I responded too quickly. Another process for me would be to schedule my visits to the kids/grandchildren so that I spend more balanced time between the five families.
What are some areas where developing a process would help you feel more in control of your life?