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Control Freak, Who?

“Knock knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Control Freak.  Now you say, ‘control freak who?’”

It’s always been my favorite knock-knock joke, but I didn’t realize just how much of a control freak I truly was until today.  I downloaded the latest version of iTunes, which opened on my computer after the install, randomly playing songs on shuffle.


How I hate the shuffle feature.  I’m a creature of habit.  I like my routines.  I order the same entrée at my favorite restaurant that I frequent, read the same magazines each month, watch the same TV shows every evening, and when it comes to music, I have dozens of my own carefully prepared playlists.  I know what kind of music I like, and the order I want to hear the songs, and when I’m in the mood to hear them.  I also know what songs are not my favorites, and I’ve left them out of my playlists.  Why in the world would I need to have them resurrected and thrown haphazardly in with the songs I want to hear?

A song I didn’t recognize was playing on my computer and I didn’t like it, not one bit.  It frustrated me that I wasn’t able to drop what I was doing and run to the computer to turn off the shuffle feature.  I had to wait it out.

But the next song surprised me.  It was a song I didn’t have on any of my current playlists, and hadn’t heard in years.  It brought back memories from a wonderful, carefree time in my life.  It made me smile.

The next song, while not one of my favorites, was also a throwback to the past.  I hadn’t heard that one since my college days.  In my mind, I found myself back in my dorm room, smiling as the tune poured into my headphones from an old cassette in my Walkman – the caveman predecessor of the iPod.

Ah.  This was fun.

I spent this afternoon enjoying all kinds of songs that I would not have listened to, had I chosen for myself.  Shuffle chose them for me.  I’m so glad it did. The experience inspired my one and only New Years resolution for 2013: to lighten up and not be such a control freak.

To be more adventuresome.  To find more to enjoy out of life than just a narrow list of what I deem my favorites.

To take risks. To be surprised.

And to face uncertainty with the same hopefulness of finding something wonderful on the other side – like an old familiar song.


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