I know a thing or two about chaos.
I was a Licensed Child Care Provider. For more than 22 years, as a single parent, I spent-12-hours-a-day-5-days-a-week-raising-6-to-9-children-who-had-other-parents,-while-home-schooling-my-son-and-costuming-3-musicals-a-year-with-65-to-73-kids-in-each-show-for-a-nationwide-children’s-theater-company,-after-the-other-kids-went-home-and-on-weekends,-living-too-many-days-with-never-enough-hours-in-any-of-them-so-I-could-sleep-only-5-and-1/2-hours-a-night-for-117-years.
I lived in a circus — a three-ring, never ending circus.
Deep, cleansing breath.
Sometimes I’d stop the minivan at the signal half a mile from home, close my eyes, and think, “Please let the light stay red so I can take a nap.”
Ten seconds later, the light always turned green.
Yeah, I know a thing or two about chaos.
“They’re so sweet when they’re sleeping.” Every mother everywhere throughout the History of Time.
There are two types of chaos.
One sneaks up behind you and bashes in your confidence with unexpected and devastating force, turning life upside-down, inside-out, and seven ways to Sunday. It most frequently involves illness, injury, death, and/or the American court system, and can drop you into a pit you might never climb out of. I’ve met this Chaos face to face in battle, and emerged scarred but victorious.
I will not talk about it behind its back.
The other kind of chaos surrounds you while you’re making a Plan. It turns your life upside-down and inside-out while filling it with frustration, laughter, creativity, noise, and love. You can try taming it by scheduling every activity, meal, and nap, but it will just laugh in your face and retreat to some tropic bar for mai tais or some exotic -tini drink, waiting for the moment you crack from the stress of trying to control ALL the possibilities ALL the time. There is only one way to survive this battle of Your Will against Reality and still maintain some modicum of mental and emotional health.
You have to follow Guy’s advice:
“Take comfort in the chaos — it means something is happening.” Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil
Because we each have our own circus, but the monkeys don’t belong to any of us.