So this seems to be the place where we as human beings actually have to evolve to adapt to what we have created in our world. We feel satisfied, and prepared to rest when we believe we have completed the project(s) of the day or the hour, and when we have all aspects of our lives organized. I am convinced that this is no longer possible for most people in the 21st century. So this is where an epidemic of feeling out of control, chronically behind and chronically failing has taken over. It seems to me that we can't resolve this unless we find a way to accept that we will always have to leave things unfinished, and we will never be as organized as we like. Just a few years ago, I remember I had a goal of deleting and dealing with e-mails until I had less than 25 saved, read e-mails by the end of the day. This went on for a significant period of time. Well guess what? I now have thousands of e-mails I haven't read and thousands I have read and kept in order to follow-up on them! Once I calcualted how long it would take to go through them all, with just a brief skim of most of them. It was then that I realized I was never going to be able to go through all these. And every day, I accumulate more. I know I'm far from the only one. Yahoo used to allow something like 20 MB of e-mail space. Then they increased it to 2 GB. Just as I was struggling to stay within that limit by deleting emails, they increased it to unlimited storage! Now I have tens of thousands of unread emails and saved emails I couldn't go through if I had nothing else to do. Oh well; that is what we are faced with on a daily basis.
So how do we make peace with never again feeling in control, organized, and neatly finished? I think recognizing that our only other choice (besides making peace) is to be constantly disappointed and frustrated, and to think we are chronically failing is a start. Beyond that, I think getting some perspective is probably the best bet. Some people get this perspective through religion, or spirituality, or meditation. But it can also be obtained through a thoughtful look at the stars in a place that's dark enough to see how many there are. Another way is to think about your life as if you have 6 months to live. With perspective, being in control, organized, and finished in ways that aren't possible generally seem less important than love, and doing what you believe in, or feel passionate about, or helping people, or playing and having fun.
Cynthia W. Lubow, MFT