T minus 6 days and counting until I humiliate myself on assignment by wetting my pants on southern California’s newest zipline attraction.  Don’t laugh – this is a legitimate fear! 

Because I was probably something like 3 years old at the time, I can’t recall the last time I actually peed myself.  Which is why it was weird when my friend’s 10-month-old baby leaked on my jeans yesterday.  It was if she knew, as if she was saying, “See, Jenny?  There’s nothing to worry about.”

I briefly considered buying and adorning myself in crunchy adult drugstore diapers, but then, like a toddler in training pants, I remembered that I do in fact have complete control over my bladder and laughed that idea off Liz Lemon-style.

My plan for next Saturday is this: 

  1. Get up.  Pee.  Avoid drinking.
  2. Eat breakfast.  Pee.  Avoid drinking.
  3. Brush teeth.  Pee.  Avoid drinking.

You get the picture. 

I am somewhat comforted by the thought that even in the unlikely event I do soil the cute ziplining outfit I’m sure to put together, I can probably work myself up to a good enough speed that I’ll quickly air-dry.  So at least I’ve got that going for me.

So, besides the fact that the line could break, plummeting my freshly pilates-ed buns to the earth below, why am I afraid of ziplining? 

I have hiked to 8,000 feet above sea level, climbed ladders to TV studio ceilings and can most often be found in the window seat while flying so I can stare out at the landscape below.  Ergo, it’s not the height that frightens me. 

What scares me is that I have to be the one to take that step off the platform.  I have to both mentally and physically make the decision to let go, trust the line and accept what’s to come.  I have to forfeit control.

Am I a control freak?  I’m not sure how my friends and family would respond to this question, so feel free to offer your opinion (in the least offensive way possible, mind you) by commenting on this post.  It’s a tough question for me to answer too.  I don’t necessarily see it as a positive or negative trait….just a state of being.

I really like to know what’s going to happen, but I don’t have my whole life planned out year by year, or each day planned out minute by minute.  I let my husband take care of scheduling our recent vacation and I love it when he surprises me – he’s really good at that. 

But I do like to think about what I’m going to make for dinner, sometimes hours before I’ve eaten lunch.  I like to make lists of what I need to buy at the store.  And I find it really disruptive when plans change at the last minute.  It sort of throws me off-balance.  Sometimes I even melt down a little, a personality flaw that I am definitely not proud of. 

I realize that I’m not autistic, but I’ve read a lot about autism and observed several children on both ends of the autism scale, from nearly unnoticeable Aspberger’s to full-on uncommunicative kids, stimming 24-7.  And to a certain degree, I share this trait with them.  It’s not like I throw myself on the ground screaming when someone I was going to hang out with cancels, and I don’t become violent when my husband has to stay late at work.  But I do have a problem with flexibility, spontaneity and situations that are out of my control.

So what better way to fight against this than to put myself in a situation where I only have control over that first step?