The known and the unknown. Order and its opposite – disorder, mess, chaos. The traditional dramatic struggle is between good and evil, but every day life’s struggle is in the intersection between order and control or varying levels of chaos. Even people who aren’t drawn to structure, who are comfortable in ambiguity, need some touch points of order – normalcy.
Whether we actively and consciously understand our own needs for order, or we lash out in unease caused by too much chaos too close, every one of us has an acceptable level of chaos. When we can still mostly function, beyond which we get bogged down.
Somehow I learned fairly early on that I could create some of the structure that I need to feel comfortable in my environment. I am thankful for this since it has greatly helped me to navigate my life. I know immediately that when anxiety starts to build that I should take a breather, mentally take stock in all that is going on around me and identify a few simple things that I can straighten out. I know that to press on will be foolish – and yet sometimes I press on.
Even knowing the level of order that I prefer, having such an interest in problem solving as I do, I am finding that the level of complexity in our modern life – the amount of oversight and active monitoring that is necessary on my part to get an acceptable level of service from the companies and people that I interact with – is exhausting. I can’t begin to imagine how people who have a much stronger need for order, or people who find standing up for themselves a challenge, manage these interactions.
I didn’t mean to sound stilted in this post, but I am trying to wrap my head around a solution to this encroaching chaos. It feels too close lately, in too many areas of my life. Naming it is the first step to a solution. Finding joy, or having a laugh will reduce the anxiety while I continue to sort through. Finding some easy wins will give me a little boost of energy to press on.
How are you managing your chaos?
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