By Lindsay Huffman
If I could be any superhero, I’d be Wonder Woman. She’s strong, self-reliant, beautiful and intelligent-I even named my car after Wonder Woman’s alias, Diana. (But in all fairness, I also gave my car that name because it is closely related to Diane, which is the first name of a very famous female journalist who was born in my hometown.)But even though I wish I could be, I am not Wonder Woman.
I know this, obviously. Superheroes who are super great and have superpowers are not real people. But that doesn’t mean I don’t try to act like one sometimes. OK, maybe all the time. And I’m sure there are other people in the world who try to emulate their favorite superheroes.
I’m not saying I go around trying to fight off villains or pretending to use a “Lasso of Truth.” No, I try to save the world. Not the literal world, but my own little world. In short, I can be a bit of a control freak.
I want everything in my life to be in order, according to my plan and always on time (or close to it). When something unexpected happens, I am not happy because then all of my plans have to be altered.
And isn’t that the point of being a superhero-to keep the world in order? To prevent tyrannical shifts from occurring in the world? Yes, and tyrannical shifts translate to changes in the plan of my life.
So when last weekend came around, I had a plan. A lame one, admittedly-on Friday, go to Lexington. Saturday, finish all the homework that was steadily piling up on me and then relax on Sunday. And after my first-week-at-school stresses, that sounded like a great weekend to me.
But nothing really went as I expected (shocking, I know).
On Friday, a simple trip to a Lexington bookstore turned into eight books, a visit to two Halloween stores, and, of course, a delectable Gigi’s cupcake. Oh, and don’t forget the spontaneous rave that my friends and I were invited to (and attended).
So when Saturday morning, rolled around, I knew I needed to work and get some things done. I needed to go to the Kentucky Horse Park with a friend to buy a T-shirt for the World Equestrian Games, but we had to go early to avoid a parking fee. Thankfully, this trip was successful. Moreover, the scenery at the horse park was gorgeous-if you’ve never been, stop by sometime and admire its beauty.
But when I got back from my morning trip, I immediately sat down to read for my Monday class. Wait, oops-I had forgotten I was supposed to meet with a friend that afternoon. Great.
So I went to the meeting-which lasted an hour longer than I had expected, but my friend and I got distracted by YouTube-and then ventured out into the town to pick up some things I needed, which included a sequel to a book I recently finished.
All in all, it was only going to be a few minutes out of the way, right?
Wrong. First, I knew I should not be tracking down some silly book. Second, I knew that if I found the book, I would be more tempted to read it rather than finishing my work.
But as any bookworm can tell you, when you want-no, need-to read a sequel, you do not stop going to shops until you find it. So by the time I found my book in Lexington (as well as the third book in the series), I had already wasted away most of the afternoon. Awesome.
Needless to say, I finally put my nose to the grind once I got back from town. A part of me was hoping I could do all of my assignments with superhuman speed, like Wonder Woman, so that I could start reading my books again.
However, I didn’t finish my homework and I was going to have to give up my day of relaxation to finish it.
But when I woke up the next morning, I realized how stupid I was. Yes, I needed to finish work, but since when had I become so utterly boring and mindless? I had mentally punished myself all weekend for not doing work, when the whole point of not having classes is to take a break.
So I picked up my sequel and began to devour it. Because I’m not Wonder Woman. I can’t maintain my sanity if I keep trying to control every bit of my universe. I need time to myself, for myself, regardless of the demands of the world around me. And from one control freak to another, expecting your world to always go according to plan is just plain useless.
So my life lesson of the week is that you shouldn’t beat yourselves up about taking some “me” time. Find your stress reliever and get away from the world for a while. For me, I either escape through a good book or I regress into my childhood and simply blow bubbles.
And although I may not be a superhero, I think my stress relievers are even better than any power I could have.