I have lots of ideas. Ideas seem to come and go for me and flood my mind. I can get carried away and I often try to get HL to buy into these initiatives. Often he does, but he also asks questions and slows me down at points. It can be scary to be standing in front of a runaway train, but he’s a big guy and he knows what I need. He also sees the value in them. Without sharing these ideas and putting them into action, I wouldn’t be submitting to him now, I wouldn’t have this blog and we wouldn’t be running our online community.
There have been other initiatives that he didn’t support and that feels ok. I suppose I use him as a bit of a sounding board and he will let me know if he sees a problem or if there is something he thinks that I have overlooked. Often it will not be the idea itself that is the issue but the time and energy that making it a success will take. He looks out for me, and therefore sometimes he is required to put the brakes on in order to slow me down.
This week has been hard. I have written about it in A sense of Denial and The Worst Week, and as I said in these posts, I wrote in order to process what was going on. I have noticed a pattern quite clearly in that a problem comes along which leads me to an emotional response but then, after that, comes a practical response. Last week I came home from work feeling an array of different emotions about the way the situation was unfolding and I talked about them, both with HL and with friends and family online and off, and twice I wrote about them.
I was going to bed and waking the following day (unfortunately between 2am and 4am) with my head full of ideas. Somehow, during the sleep I got my brain was turning each problem into an opportunity and finding a solution. Although I left work each day feeling like my world was being turned upside down, I went back each morning with a plan to help to mitigate this. Sounding each idea out with HL during our morning walk, I went in to school armed with my latest response.
Now HL is used to me, and this time, my plans and ideas were not going to affect him directly, but by the end of the week, I saw the same expression on the faces of my colleagues that I sometimes see from him when I unveil my latest plan of action. I can go too fast. I can rush ahead with my ideas and projects and I forget that not everyone else is inside my head and not everyone else has been up for 5 hours thinking about what to do.
Growth Mindset and Control
I have written enough on here about control for you to know that it is a big thing for me. I hate to feel out of control and so I will try to micromanage a situation if I begin to feel that things are out of control. I am not leader and nor do I want to lead. I want someone else to be in control and to be leading the direction so that I can get on with contributing to that direction and do what I am good at to be part if it. The issue with micromanaging is that in an ever changing landscape, the goal posts keep moving, so by the next day things may have moved on and the plan is no longer effective.
Having a growth mindset and seeing problems and difficulties as opportunities, is one thing that helps me to feel in control. If I have a plan then, for the time being, I can throw myself into achieving what I have decided to, I can reassure that others who are looking to me for answers, and I can turn the negative emotions that I am feeling into positive ones. This is how I manage and how I feel safe. I do it at home and I do it at work. Basically it is my way and it has worked for me – it is my coping strategy.
Turning Problems into Opportunities
I wrote in A sense of denial and The Worst Week about the problems that I saw. My mind was racing and I was emotionally charged. As the week progressed I came up with various different ideas and initiatives to counteract the loss of control I felt in terms of what was happening. Some, but not all, of these were: Online meet ups with classes; Challenges and tasks for them to work on; A system that would allow me to do welfare checks remotely; A pop up school for essential workers needing childcare; Resource materials on a range of topics; Videos; Podcasts; A guide to teenage well being during social distancing; An Instagram account; A blog.
Some of these things have already been actioned and are now in place – it has been an exhausting week. Others ended up being not required so the work done to get the initiative going was just dropped – the government stipulated care for the children of key workers and that has been implemented. Thankfully that means that I can be a willing volunteer at a hub, rather than managing a pop up school myself! Others are still in the research phase – HL caught me investigating the blog option at 5am this morning.
While this method helps me to cope, it can also mean wasted time as those who are leading can take things in a direction which means my idea no longer fits or is not required. It also takes its toll if it is long term as I become over committed so I need HL to slow me down. He does this sometimes during the ideas phase, as I explained above, and at other points he starts to put rules in place so that I don’t burn myself out. I feel one about working at 4am coming up!
As a person, I am quite resourceful. I am a creative thinker and my passion drives my energy to try to fix things, or certainly to mitigate them. I take the initiative and I make things happen but usually this is on a small, local level. Sometimes these initiatives will grow and be pushed outside of my own domain and I find myself leading something, but in reality, I would rather stick to what I am good at and allow others to take that role.
I like feeling that someone else is in control as it allows me the freedom to do absolutely everything I can to improve and support things within that. I can still use my initiative and make things happen, but they tend to be things which affect those that I am directly involved with, rather than being large scale projects. I can be pushed into thinking in a bigger way when those around about me show that they are not in control, so I can and will take the lead if I feel that the leadership is not there or that it has let me down.
Advantages and Disadvantages
I see lots of advantages to the way that I am. I get things done and turn things around. I am mostly positive and tend to look forward rather than back. The disadvantages are the emotional and material output that I throw into things. I can quite quickly become over committed and put my own well being on hold, so that I can give the time and the energy and the support to others. This is something that we monitor quite closely as a couple and our D/s helps greatly in the management of this.
The other disadvantage is that it can make me hard to manage. The speed that I work at and the way that I put my ideas across can be difficult for those who are managing me to respond to. If there is a gap in control, I will tend to try to fill it and that can be seen as a criticism or a challenge to those who I had been looking to for leadership. I have seen this play out at work, as well as at home in our power exchange. I am a difficult submissive in that sense because unless the dominance is overt, I can start to push through and fill the gaps, essentially domming myself by providing initiatives and projects and plans that I can manage on my own.