Controlling Perfect

By WES BROOKS,
The tune I’m humming along to for this week’s outing is from a band I’ve referenced once before—Athens, Georgia’s R.E.M. If you’re referencing vinyl recordings, “I Believe” is the second song on side two of R.E.M.’s 1986 album Life’s Rich Pageant. 
Let’s get going.
Change. It’s normal for things to change, right? Well, it might be normal and some of you might actually—gasp—embrace it, but for the longest time I did not.
Allow me to clarify.
I don’t mean I stood in open defiance of it, stomping my feet with my lip poked out. I mean the undiagnosed ADHD I shouldered the first 38 years of my life created an automatic reaction of anxiety, worry, concern, and stress. And even though my ADHD is well under control and those reactions are no longer a barrier, I still catch myself thinking about it. 
 
When I was young and full of grace
And spirited a rattlesnake
When I was young and fever fell
My spirit I will not tell
You're on your honor not to tell 
I believe in coyotes and time
as an abstract
Explain the change the
difference between
What you want and what
you need there's the key
Your adventure for today
what do you do
Between the horns of the day?
 
Allow me to offer two hypothetical situations: 
Situation 1—Have you heard the expression “got it like ya like it?” You know, the kind of afternoon where you find you have the house to yourself, the delivery guy from PoBoy Express just delivered your Steak Bomb, you’re on the couch in favorite pair of sweats, and Big Trouble in Little China is just starting on the TV?
(Don’t judge.)
You ease back into the couch to take the second bite of your sandwich, Jack Burton squawks “the check’s in the mail” into his CB radio, and the phone rings.End result: you have to get dressed and leave the house for three hours thus ending the little siesta you had planned for yourself. Situation 2—The organization you work for is great. You get along really well with the coworker you share 100 square feet of office space with for forty hours each week, and things are humming along just perfectly, right?Within the course of a few months you find your organization is closing the division where your team works and you don’t know (from an organizational standpoint) where you’ll land. Then, your officemate shares that they’re moving back to their home state a couple thousand miles away. The first situation totally used to spin me out. ADHD does that. For the attention-challenged, moments of carefree calm are very rare and extraordinarily valuable. Steal that moment and watch that person make Mount Everest out of the proverbial molehill. Now, imagine if you can what that same person is like when you apply situation #2. What’s the fix? Of course, that all depends on the individual’s awareness of their condition and the strength of their coping skills. And yes, that’s my passive, Monday-morning-quarterback way of telling you, the reader, that I’m spitballing and I can only tell you what I would do. 
 
Trust in your calling, make
sure your calling's true
Think of others, the others
think of you
Silly rule golden words make,
practice, practice makes perfect,
Perfect is a fault,
and fault lines change
I believe my shirt is wearing thin
And change is what I believe in
 
Are you eager to get to work? Are you content in what you are doing? More specifically, do you believe in it? Is the reward you get from fulfilling the mission enough to make small things inconsequential? Apply those questions to every aspect of your life. For me, it continues to be a learning process and, even though I now have the tools to make those situations profoundly easier, it’s something that still takes work. If I’ve learned anything, I know the noun “control” and the adjective “perfect” are illusions, and holding on to either too firmly sets me on a fast track to frustration and complacency. 
If you find yourself stuck in a rut, lean on your close friends and family. I know I do.  The good ones will give you perspective and guidance. Hopefully, with that on your side you won’t fear change, like me, you’ll actually begin to embrace it.Let’s rock and roll, friends!
P.S. Get yourself to downtown Hattiesburg this Saturday for HUBFEST! At 3:30 p.m., after you’ve sufficiently stuffed yourself with festival fare and perused all the artwork, make your way over to the Town Square Park stage. 
 
Find a patch of grass to plop down on, and let me and The 6550’s finish off your day with a little boogie woogie.
 
 When he’s not rocking his socks off, Wes Brooks spends his days as the Development Coordinator at the DuBard School for Language Disorders at The University of Southern Mississippi.