Friday, December 9, 2011
Today’s Meaning in Chaos?
I didn’t get enough done today. That reality isn’t exactly my norm but let’s just say it happens more than I’d like. My kids had a half day at school today (not the usual) so I’ve had to make adjustments for that change.
But the bigger thing about today is that I got many, many little things done but no big one. With continual interruptions that goal seemed like the best way to plan my tasks. It feels less satisfying and productive.
I grew up in chaos; thus I’m not a big fan of chaos; I handle it well. Mostly. Too much chaos and one never knows, I might just freak out (I’m also a control freak, a dual partner from having too little control as a child). But chaos leading to a loss of control is a reality of life.
Dictionary.com defines chaos as: a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order. Life is just like that.
So how did I find meaning in my chaos today?
1. I lowered my expectations.
2. I picked tasks that didn’t require too much focus (no writing the final – hopefully - thrilling scenes in my book).
3. I accepted last minute changes to the schedule; and hadn’t calendared any crucial tasks.
4. Went for a beach run…even though it put me behind schedule.
5. I avoided stressful people and situations (not good to push my limits on a day when time is moving much faster than I am)
6. I settled on a simple blog posting and not the more exciting one I’d been planning to write (the importance of an idea and its relationship to execution…coming).
7. I reminded myself that my kids and their friends will only be around for so long before they disappear into college and their own lives (gratitude).
The underlying theme is we all only have so much control. When chaos hits, it’s what you’ve done before that provides grounding for how we cope and survive (or even thrive) with it.
Profound? No, when I can focus and concentrate more! But I like this topic as I ponder my own search for meaning. I’ll be thinking and writing again about predictability, order and chaos and how they impact our concept of life. If we don’t learn how to define our own meaning in the midst of a chaotic and ever changing world then our search will never end. The related saying we all know: the only things for sure in life are death and taxes.
My meaning for today was spending extra time with four kids I adore and have known since they were much smaller. I got to actually notice how much they’ve matured even while they haven’t changed so much. And I learned that I’ll be okay if I don’t finish writing my next book today
The photo is of a Hawaiian beach and taken by my friend Kenny (thank you)!