Friday, February 13, 2009

Chaos Theory


Since I've been back at the Y, I decided to mix things up by attending classes. Before I got married, my friend Jen and I went to step class at the Athletic Club and I remembered it being a great workout. Well, it still is.

As I was tapping, lifting and going 'over the top', I had completely zoned out to the sound of the rhythmic stomp, stomp, stomp of everyone working in time to the count of the instructor. My breathing evened out, and I was suddenly getting the steps right.

It hit me...there is a reason that a get a secret thrill from watching the Marine Corps Silent Drill or a phenomenal marching band; I thrive on things being orderly. Hmmmm, could this have anything to do with being raised by two OCD parents? I remember when my dad brought home a tool chest for us to store our lego's and each drawer was marked with my dad's label gun: Red 2-cell legos, Blue 2-cell legos, there was even a drawer for 'misc.' in case there was a part that lego made eventually that didn't fit in one of the previously made categories. Our light bright had a plastic baggie for each color so that when we were done, all the pegs were neatly tucked away.

You may think I'm making fun, but there's a reason why our small house so easily accommodated a family of six while I feel the walls closing in on my family of four (in a bigger space I might add). A place for everything and everything in its place.
I had been thinking about this post while on the treadmill as I was cruising along to Chubby Checkers (yep, the same one I made fun of J for having in the iPod), and then got home and finally committed to reading more than one page of Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box at a time. I had been reading the first chapter during trips to the bathroom for about a month and decided I needed to get past the introduction if I were ever to find out how to relieve myself of the social pressures of motherhood I'd been buying into. One book can solve it all, right?

Anywhoo, Ms Dunnewold was talking about how much chaos is caused by trying to be perfect, when really we should be happy with being 'perfectly good'. It's a phrase that we've certainly heard before (think 'those shoes are perfectly good'.) As a graduate of the school of "good enough" I know that when I use that term, I'm really saying not good enough, which was the exact point made in that book. When did being 'good' start to mean you were not good enough?

I've decided to start embracing the things that I know I'm good at. I can work at the things I'm not, but mostly just acknowledging that we're all human. We're gonna yell at our kids, we're gonna have 'adult tantrums' and we're going to make mistakes. But with a little practice, we can become comfortable with the knowledge that we're perfectly good mothers. Order restored, chaos reduced.

Realizing my affinity for order has given me just that much more motivation to clear the c-rap out of my house. Did you know that in a lot of areas Big Brothers Big Sisters will come to your house and pick up a load of donations?

1 comment:

That Girl . . . said...

I so appreciate this post. I talk a good game, but inside I am always so frustrated with my lack or organization/perfection/whatever. Deep down I want the labeled lego drawers, and it irritates me that I can't get there. Maybe it's time to take a deep breath and just be happy all the legos are in one box.