Happy New Year! 2012...and the world has not yet ended, hallelujah, I have a marathon to run this year!
My family spent the evening with several other families, eating, drinking and being merry. It was a great evening. I was riding the high of my longest run yet, 10.5 miles. Felt like a great way to end a year, accomplishing something on the way to something bigger, right? I ran in the afternoon, felt great when I was done (aside from an achy joint here or there). I was feeling festive, excited to celebrate.
I was chatting with another runner at the party, one who runs 4 to 5 marathons a year and in the course of our conversation he said, "well, you are obviously a type A person." I, incredulously replied, "Me?" For the record, I have never thought of myself as type A and quite frankly think of it as a negative quality. He replies, "You wouldn't be out there running, preparing for a marathon if you weren't." I was stunned. It isn't the first time my own perception of myself has been altered, but I was definitely not eager to take this label on.
Later in the evening, as I sat with two of my girlfriends, I shared the story. They both laughed and said, "you are totally type A." Say what? I, of course, asked them what type A is then and they described it as being driven, "liking to be in control", and I can't remember what else because I attached to the liking to be in control part and couldn't let that go. I think it took up most of the space in my brain for the following 15 minutes.
I looked up what type A is today and learned that type A and type B personality theory was developed in the 1950s as a way to determine risk for future heart disease. Those that are type A (in case you also are curious) are described as ambitious, aggressive, controlling, highly competitive, impatient, preoccupied with status, and tightly wound, just to name a few. And type B is the opposite of that, patient, relaxed, easy-going, and at times lacking an overriding sense of urgency. Maybe we can't put people in these two boxes. I would definitely like to think I possess qualities of both.
But...it is a new year and a time to invite in to our lives what we want and a time to usher out what no longer serves us. What stuck out most for me in this whole Type A conversation, was my friend describing me as someone who likes to be in control. As much as I did not like to hear myself described that way, I have to admit there is truth in it. I do like to be in control, I often think I know best and I like to know what's in store. I'm not a big fan of change (I can't control it, right?) and I am not exactly the most spontaneous person I know. And so, what am I to do with this new self awareness at 38? My goal for 2012 is to be less attached, to let go, and to learn to find some freedom in not being in control. How's that for a new year's resolution...to be out of control?