Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Calm Peace of Chaos

"In chaos, there is fertility." ~  Anaïs Nin

Chaos is when you're waiting in the car to take your kid to school, and the minutes tick away while he's in the house finding his shoes and then s l o w l y putting them on. You'll be late again.

Chaos is when your dryer breaks and you can't do a load of laundry for the 6 people who live in the house without going to the laundromat.

Chaos is the discovery that you're out of coffee. In the morning.

Chaos is the school phone calls, meetings, report cards, homework, complaints about the math teacher, bus fights and lost lunches.

Chaos is thinning hair and thickening thighs.

Chaos is spending everything you made that day on groceries.

Chaos is 30000032 miles a year behind the wheel, driving to work, sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, driving to kids friend's houses, driving to doctors appointments, picking up sick kids from school, taking them to counseling and playdates and derby practice and jiu jitsu training, delivering them to the mall for dates, cramming them all in the car for family date nights. And back home again. Over the speed bumps, down the hill.

Chaos is dirty dishes everywhere, overflowing garbage, expired food in the fridge, and where the hell are all the spoons?!

Chaos is the "Is it poop or is it chocolate?" game, and sniffing for verification. 

Chaos is having a carbon footprint of 1389 tons of CO2/year. Eco guilt.

Chaos is when you are lusting after your boyfriend but you can't keep your eyes open. Or you're on your period. Again. Or kids keep bursting through the door.

Chaos is when you drink too much because you don't want to think too much. Headaches and regret.

Chaos is literally my neighborhood right now. Kids screaming at each other out in the parking lot. Are they playing or fighting? And how come the dogs are all barking? Where are their parents?

Chaos is checking out, or checking in somewhere else when you'd rather be home.

Chaos is divorce papers that get sent back because they weren't completed correctly.

Chaos is the constant and relentless political drama that is our country, one week from an election.

Chaos is social media, rigged elections, pipelines destroying sacred land, arrogant and gun toting white supremacists, Russia.

Chaos is old fears, nagging insecurities, seasonal depression and trust issues.

It's easy to get completely swept away by the sheer and utter chaos that life is, out in front and in the background as white noise. I even feel it when I sleep, I typically dream of daily stressors and wake up even more exhausted.

Within the chaos, the moments of frustrations and business of life, I find moments of clarity where I am absolutely and blissfully grateful for the mess, the noise, the emotions, the fears, the tears.

It means I'm busting at the seams with a gorgeous and amazing family.

It means I can keep the lights on in the house I make rent payments for.

It means I am learning how to give someone my trust again, as well as my heart and hoping for the best.

It means I'm getting older, and each day I get a little better at living and embracing who I am, not who I want to be.

It means I have priorities, goals and am moving on.

It means my kids are active, safe, loved and well cared for.

It means my kids are growing into strongly opinionated, independent, self-actualized people. It means they are out in life, rubbing up against the reality of conflict and learning how to deal with it.

It means I have lots of room to grow and heal and learn about myself.

It means I'm paying attention to world and local events and I deeply care about building a strong future for my children.

It means my life is bursting with love.

Yes, the chaos is loud, the nightmares are a drag, the mess is unrelenting, there is never a pause on the task list. But I make time for stopping: witnessing life: noticing the leaves changing, the kids laughing, the cloud animals, the facial expressions of strangers, the smiles, the glorious first sip of coffee (once I finally get it to my lips). I make it a point to take baths, to flee the city for an occasional solo hike,  to lose myself in a book, to connect with friends, to lock the door and wrap myself up in my lover.

That's life. It's a beautiful juxtaposition. I like the dance.

I just wish there were more coffee.

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