Order Out of Chaos

J-Juice 2I’ve been vascillating on what to post about today.  I’ve got some personal stuff going on at the moment that’s got me really strung out.  I feel very…unbalanced and out of control of my emotions, which is a very unusual state of affairs for someone like me who prides herself on control.

Type A personality?  Yeah, that’d be me.

Because I am so much of a control freak, when things happen to me that are outside my realm of control, I still have a tendency to fall back on attempts to take control of the situation, which is incredibly ineffectual and leaves me feeling like a human illustration of Yeats.

Things fall apart.  The centre cannot hold.

And I’m the center.

People like me do not give up control gracefully, and I daresay that we do not thrive in chaos.  Chaos, in so many ways, offends me.  Which makes it sound like chaos has some willful intention of its own.  But really…I like having a plan.  I like having my house neat and orderly.  I like my bathroom towels to be hung neatly folded in thirds over the towel bar (rather than flung over the shower curtain rod).  I like being organized and knowing where things are.  I like knowing where I stand with people.  I like having a schedule. I like making order out of chaos, which is why I’m the one who does all the unpacking when we move (a process I’ve turned into a science).  It’s also probably why I persist in trying to plot out my work.

A lot of these things I had to learn to give up or relax on when I got married.  My husband is, comparatively, a very untidy person.  After so long living by myself but for our eldest dog Daisy, it was hard to suddenly share space with someone who was not as neat as I was.  And to suddenly have more stuff that needed a home.  And…yeah, a whole host of other things that made me feel I was living in chaos.  That kind of thing affects my emotional state and my ability to think and focus.  Six years into our marriage, and I think we’ve reached a decent medium (though I am preparing to do a massive spring cleaning).

To get back to my original point, I feel like I’m caught in the middle of emotional chaos at the moment.  I will be the first person to admit that I have some anger issues.  I’ve got an explosive temper that I’ve spent the last ten years working very, very hard to control.  Expression of temper is, after all, a learned behavior.  Mostly I’ve done a good job of it.  I’ve been able to sort of internalize the serenity prayer.  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.  Wise words, those.

I’m lacking in the wisdom department lately.  Well, not exactly.  The situation in which I presently find myself is one I understand perfectly on a logical level, and I know very well that in this circumstance, the only thing I can truly change is my own reaction to it.  But the situation so outrages me that I want to change it.  I want to change the other person.

Self, you cannot change anyone else.

Yeah, yeah, I know, but damn it, the other person is wrong.

I’ve spent most of this week utterly bent out of shape over this situation, and I’m emotionally exhausted and wrung out and everybody’s unhappy.

Bonsai MoonAnd I, I am in desperate need of some of the Zen calm I learned in college.   Back in college, when I finally mastered the Beast that is my temper, it was through martial arts discipline, yoga, and regular meditation.  And it probably didn’t hurt that I actually got adequate sleep in those days.

I can’t remember the last time I did any of those things.

I certainly don’t have time for all of them now, but I’m going to have to do something because I can’t tolerate this mental state.  My brain isn’t working, isn’t focusing on the work like I need it to.  And that is unacceptable.

I’ve got a whole pile of books on meditation and eastern philosophy lining a shelf of my bookcase.  Clearly I need to pull some of them out and refresh myself.

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