I had the edges of a panic attack last night.
The summation of what the next two weeks is bringing hit me like a ton of bricks around 8:00 PM last night. Over the course of the next 10 working days, I have 6 days of audits, three senior management presentations, two system redesigns - plus the day to day work that needs to happen just to keep things moving, plus anything I need to do on the side.
It felt like a bit much.
And even in much of this I have little control: I cannot control what the auditors do. I cannot control what senior management does. I cannot make the outcome of the redesigns and the day to day activities anything other than what they will be.
I don't like not being in control.
So I have a choice, as I sit here in the refrigerator motor and minute keeping silence: how will I face the next two weeks?
All I can control is myself. All I can do is prepare to the best of my ability. The circumstances and outcome will be what they will be. I can influence, but I cannot control.
And if they are bad? If everything completely falls apart and I am blamed for everything (it is, after all, the worst case scenario)?
Then I know that I tried. And that my image of myself is caught up with how God sees me and how my loved ones (family and friends) see me, not that the outcomes are reflective of my value.
Yes, I will have to work. Yes, I will have to be on top of my game. But I cannot bear the weight of responsibility for all things that are beyond my control.
"In all forms of strategy" says Musashi, "it is necessary to maintain the combat stance in everyday life and to make your everyday stance your combat stance. You must research this well."
So I face the day head erect, shoulders straight, chest out, nostrils slightly flared. In control, at least, of myself.