How Much Control Do We Have?

How Much Control Do We Have?

Do you ever feel as if you have little if any control over things that happen in your life? I’ve been feeling this way recently.

For some time now we’ve been harassed by telemarketers and I was at the end of my rope. The calls had been coming more frequently and now they were happening in the middle of the night. Not cool.

Last night the ringing of the phone jolted us out of sleep at 4:37 am. I usually don’t get up until 7:00 so since I was wide awake and unlikely to fall back to sleep I had 143 minutes to work on the problem.

I realized my frustration stemmed one thing; I felt as if I had no control over this situation. I didn’t want to turn off all the phones at night and be unreachable by my daughter who lives away. During the day I couldn’t ignore the phone because it’s a business line as well as a home line. The “Do Not Call” lists are reportedly moderately effective at best. There will always be the unscrupulous telemarketers who won’t comply anyway.

As I lay there turning the problem over in my mind I gradually devised a surprisingly elegant plan.

I realized I could remove the phone number from our web site (few people use it anyway these days – they use the Contact Form). Then I would not be compelled to answer the phone when I didn’t recognize the caller’s name. The answering machine could catch any legitimate calls that fell the through the cracks.

I could unplug the main phone jack when we went to bed. My daughter could reach us in an emergency via FaceTime on the iPod I use for an alarm clock.

As I thought about the solution I began to appreciate the beauty of it. No longer would I have to worry about missing a phone call when I wanted to have lunch on the patio or go for a winter walk in the woods. And I would never be wakened and delivered bad news in the middle of the night. Seems this telemarketer problem was yet another blessing in disguise.

At times in life we may think we have no control but life is the process of solving problems and as Barbara Coloroso says, “there is no problem so great that it cannot be solved.” Besides, sometimes problems transport us from an okay place to a much better one.

We do have control. We can unplug physically –  or emotionally. We can let go.

Have you ever felt as if you had no control over something in your life?  How did you unplug and let it go? How much control do we have?

Photo credit: Mark Fischer

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About The Author


I am passionate about writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age, now available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. I never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?