Archive for trust

Letting Go, Part Deux

By Carolyn Cook

I have so much to learn, still.

I’m fifty years old, and I’m still learning that I have control issues.  I am even beginning to see my old perfectionism as a form of control:  if I can do everything perfectly, then I can control how other people perceive me.

I got into trouble early in my marriage by trying to be the perfect wife.  It took several years for me to see that I was only hurting myself by trying to fit an imaginary mold.  What’s more, I saw that I had been trying to control my husband’s perception of me, instead of trusting that he loved my imperfect self.

Lately I’ve noticed that I can slip into “perfect daughter” and “perfect mother” roles with my mother and daughter.  I’m not fooling anyone with my textbook caregiving and parenting; my mother and daughter just want to be with me.  They can see right through my efforts to make everything perfect.

I’m making a conscious effort to step back and let events take their course without my control, even (gasp!) in my own home.  I’m learning a lot from the experience.  Something tells me I will always have more to learn.

This post first appeared on True Voices’ RiskADay blog, a project which has now concluded.

 is a sometimes peaceful, sometimes frazzled individual who works to raise a daughter, build a marriage, and explore the human condition through theatre, art, music, history, literature, and relationship. You can now read about her life and insights at her own blog here.

The Risk of Relaxing

By guest blogger, Carolyn Cook.

I’ve taken two tremendous risks in my life: starting a small business, and choosing to home school my daughter.

In both cases, I’m doing something that plenty of other people have done successfully. I have mentors to guide me, friends to support me, and a belief that the rewards will far outweigh the risks.

But I am keenly aware that there are ways each venture could fail, or at least fall short of the hopes I have for them.

Lately I’ve been worrying about the home school venture. My daughter, who is nearly 13, spent two years in school, but we’ve built the rest of her educational experiences around home, community, travel, friends, and family. She reads widely, takes interesting classes, writes well, and has hobbies ranging from aeronautics to ragtime.

Our home school, where I am more a facilitator than a teacher, involves constant negotiation. What does my daughter want to learn next? What does she need?  Having chosen to sidestep traditional schooling, how do I make sure the bases are covered while allowing her the freedom to explore what’s important to her? How do we handle inevitable areas of tension?

I realized as I was writing this blog entry that the biggest risk I could take right now – and the most rewarding – is to relax.

I worry hard about my daughter’s education because it makes me feel like I’m doing something about it. But I’m not:  I’m just worrying. The thing to do now is to stop worrying, stop believing that it’s up to me to “fix” everything.

If I can risk admitting that, I can open myself up to the possibility that life is teaching all of us what we need to know.

Carolyn Cook is a sometimes peaceful, sometimes frazzled individual who works to raise a daughter, build a marriage, and explore the human condition through theatre, art, music, history, literature, and relationship.

Note: This post originally appeared on True Voices’ RiskADay blog project, which has now concluded.