I've always told people I'm a type-A personality. I like things done right (usually means my way), and like to be the one giving directions. I'm realizing that "type-A" is just a nice way of calling someone a control freak.
Usually, all is ok. I can reign myself in before anyone finds it too annoying, and most times people seem to be alright just stepping back and letting me do it. And my family has grown to love this quirk about me (so they tell me!). Take "pot luck dinners" for example. Probably one of the most stressful things for me is to have someone say "just make it pot luck and and we'll all bring whatever". WHAT? No planned menu? How will I know all the bases are covered? What if we end up with only desserts? My usual response is "It's ok...I like doing this stuff) - to which I'm sure I get an eye roll.
I am getting better - I gave up a little control last year for my sister's wedding shower - although my family will say I did not (I did have a plan for how I was going to handle it if it turn out the way I wanted), all I promised was that I would try.
It also carries over into my parenting. I went to a seminar recently, and realized I'm what they call an "over-functioning parent". In a nutshell, I like to do everything for my kids, remind them of schedules, and their experience at school stresses me out more than it does them. Aren't all parents like that? I am making a conscious decision to allow them to make some of their own decisions and give them more responsibility around the house. Who cares if they don't clean the same way I do, right? And they should learn to accept the consequences if they don't do their homework, right?
I fully expect that it will take some time before I can let go and become "less type-A". I will try, but I will certainly have a checklist that will tell me if I am doing it right. And a plan to fix things if the checklist tells me I'm not. I wish I could heed Yoda's advice: "There is no try, just do". For now, all I can promise to do is try.
To my friends, feel free to call me out on it. I won't promise it won't generate a sigh or a look of daggers, but I will promise to take it in stride :-)