I feel too busy. That seems to be my mantra lately. Maybe it’s yours too. I thought my Taming Time blog post would help me declutter my calendar and life. It did help, but I want more. I’m finding that I’m being led into a deeper dimension of time. Lately I’ve realized that some of my stress comes from feeling that I have to make sure everything I do succeeds. Part of this comes from my sense of responsibility and that is good. But is it possible to be over-responsible?

I’ve had leadership roles in 2 national meetings this summer and a major role in an international one coming up this month. I find myself trying to help others with their tasks and fix a lot of problems. This is also good – maybe. The question that occurs to me, however, is when should I try to “help” others and when am I doing too much because I think I have the best way or I want it to be my way.

Of course this dynamic of controlling and being over-responsible not only applies to meetings but also to marriage, parenting, jobs, and friendships. Sometimes we (I) have to let go of thinking I can control the outcome of a job or relationship and focus on doing what I can, taking a break, and being present to the person next to me – in the house, car, store, or at a meeting. It reminds me of my parenting maxim, “We are responsible for the process we use in raising our children, not the outcome.”

I may make a mistake, forget a task, or be less than perfect. The project I’m working on may not meet my expectations. That’s OK. Life on earth will survive – or maybe it won’t. (I do worry about and work for environmental sustainability.) But how am I lightening the load of my neighbor by an attentive, non-judgmental ear. Sometimes that’s more important than saving the world.

How do you deal with letting go of control? Or maybe you have the opposite inclination – to let other people do the work and worry. How do we balance these two extremes?

PS: And, oh yes, please excuse the fact that this blog post is a week late. I’m sure you noticed.