Ok here's a very specific example of making choices and feeling out of control.
I like country music, and around here each summer there is a special arrangement for a "megaticket"...purchased at one shot, it's basically tickets to four concerts through the summer. I made it to the first three, but the fourth is tomorrow night. The weather is the problem. Our 'seats' aren't really seats...this is one of those outdoor venues that has a large open grassy area, "lawn seats", and that's where we are. At two of the concerts we've been to this year, it did rain, but it wasn't a big deal...it was very hot out and almost fun. Tomorrow however it is supposed to be in mid-60's at best, and obviously getting colder throughout the duration of the concert.
For me, getting cold and wet is a nightmare. It causes immediate problems including stiff, swollen, painful joints, that pain I've talked about that radiates from the center of my bones, and headaches. Within a short time, I could start running a fever and coughing, and by the next morning (if not earlier) I could have a full-blown cold. And, I have a propensity for ANY upper respiratory problem to become bronchitis quickly. And just for those who would say I'm catastrophisizing, this pattern has happened more times in my life than I care to count, whereas the number of exceptions can be counted on one hand.
It seems obvious - I shouldn't go. However I seem to have a big problem accepting that. I keep thinking there are ways I could bundle up with layers and wear a poncho and be fine. Not entirely comfortable, but maybe avoid getting sick. Why go through all that? Control, of course. I bought these tickets planning to attend every concert when I had a limited budget and getting them would eat up most of it, so not using 25% of it seems a waste. A lot of people I know are going, and will probably be talking about it next time I see them. Since it is on 9/11, there will probably be some very moving tributes as part of the show. This is the last concert I'll have time to go to for quite a while. Shawn even arranged his work schedule in part so he could go with me (though he did have other reasons to have the day off too). Thinking of all these (emotional) reasons to go in relation to the (medical and rational) reasons not to leaves me trying to decide if the enjoyment of the moment would be worth the cost. That's basically the same decision I had to make in high school when I continued to do color guard in the sun and cold, and dozens of times over the years. I try to think of my responsibilities - I'm on the schedule to lector (read) at mass on Sunday, and having a sore throat or bronchitis would be a problem. My family needs me for things that I won't be able to do if sick, and especially if contagious. Getting sick with one problem makes me more suceptible to others, and I'm terrified of getting the swine flu (and the regular flu would be pretty bad too). Considering this risk of compounding infections and how long it takes me to recover, we could be getting very close to my start date for my new job, and in that time I have a lot of things I'm responsible for getting done with my church's youth ministry program (I'm pretty much the workhorse for it right now). All these things indicate the responsible thing to do it not take this large risk with my health. And yet, I still can't shake it. I'm still a 20-something kid just out of college not quite into the adult working world yet who wants to have her fun while she can, and on top of that, one who doesn't know how long she'll be able to have fun like this. I guess the answer's obvious, and I'm a responsible person.
It's just hard to watch my control get a little farther away.