I tend to function well in chaos, maybe too well. After 25 years in the same industry where for the last 12+ years my primary function has been rapid fire problem solving, I left my job. Working sometimes 12 hours a day and attempting to still function for my kids by participating in field trips, rarely missing events, being the homework helper, chauffer and chef, finally took it’s toll. The early mornings and late nights so that I could “mom” in the middle meant not enough sleep, no time at the gym and a slightly crazy me. I was incredibly stressed and 45 pounds overweight. I wasn’t unhappy, I loved my crazy life, chaos had become my way of life. But even more so, my (self-created) chaos had become a life form of it’s own. Controlling the chaos was how I got through each day.
Now here’s the problem with the sudden lack of chaos. I have no idea how to function without it. None. None at all.
My departure from full-time (and full pay) employment also meant being able to spend some extra time with the kids over summer break. It has been great! I have loved it so much I am actually a little, or a lot, sad that they are going back to school in less than two weeks. The only problem is that I can’t seem to get comfortable with the idea that I don’t have to be busy all of the time. I longed for the ability to have time to relax so desperately and I literally don’t know how to function in this state. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read more and loved it. I’ve watched movies and loved it. I’ve cleaned my house and loved it. But I have come so accustomed to being able to see my accomplishments at the end of each day, the habit of chaos, that I am lost.
For years, one of my boys (I have four) and I had talked about wanting to find a way to help kids who couldn’t afford to participate in sports and other activities. So in April we launched our non-profit, AspireKids, so we can do just that. Do I know how to operate a non-profit, you ask? Well, no I don’t. But I’m not afraid to learn and I love a challenge so we are pushing through. I’ve surrounded myself with some of my favorite and most trusted friends and together we are getting things done. Be prepared for some future blogging about how it feels to have absolutely no idea of what I’m doing each and every day.
Still, even with the addition of the non-profit, I was still feeling lost. So, what did I do? I signed up for college. Yep, that’s right. I am finally going to finish my degree. One class at a time and online because working toward a lifelong goal has to be fulfilling… right?
Chaos is a habit. And maybe one of the hardest to kick. Can I be feel accomplished and not overwhelmed? We’re about to find out!