Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The Theory of Constant Chaos

A while back, there was a big stink about some fitness blogger lady who posted pictures of her super ripped body, her three kids, and the caption, "What's your excuse?" I don't really know what the deal was with all that because I mostly only read headlines.

But I thought a bit about that headline. I don't have a super ripped body, I can think of a few excuses to explain why, but the thing is I don't actually feel like I need an excuse. I think it's great that this lady is super fit, that is her priority. I'm sure she does all kinds of great things with her family and job and makes time to work-out, but she doesn't do the same things that I do.

I only workout in moderation because I need time to paint beautiful pictures, refinish furniture, read with my kids, read with my handsome husband, steam clean my floors, fix my TV, proofread essays, wash a hundred dishes, etc. They are not excuses, they are priorities.

And thus, my "Theory of Constant Chaos" was born.

The Theory of Constant Chaos states:
For every reduction of chaos in a specific area, there is an equal and opposite increase in chaos in another area.

So I can determine to tame the chaos that is my hair, and put time and energy into that, but I will have to pay the price for allowing my kids to entertain themselves.

I can put them into suspended animation with the TV while I try to clean up that mess, but I will pay the price of begging for more TV, and feeling guilty for not spending time with the kids.

I can save the cleaning for nap time, but that will push something else to after nap time, and so on and so on. Even if you are always working on something, something else is always being neglected.

The trick is to decide which things are priorities and determine not to let any one of those things be neglected for too long.

It might seem kind of depressing, but here's the thing, everyone is subject to constant chaos. People with tons of kids, people with no kids, single people, old people, "clean people," busy people, Pinterest fiends, Facebook friends, Twitter tweeters, Instagrammers, fat people, skinny people, even super ripped people.

Enter: "The Five Cakes of Chaos"

I have a friend who bakes beautiful cakes. I mean beautiful, perfect tasting, perfect looking, delicious cakes. I was complimenting her on the cakes she brought to an event and she said, "Oh thanks, I'm so glad they turned out! I had to make FIVE cakes because the first few just didn't work right!"

If that had been me, the people at the event would have had ugly, kind of yucky cake, but for my friend those 5 cakes represented her love for the people she was serving. She wanted to give them her best. She doesn't have a magical oven, or woodland creatures assisting her baking while she sings to them. My friend put in time and effort to make those perfect cakes, and she had to pay the chaos price just like everyone else. Something in her life had to wait, had to be neglected, for those cakes to happen, but it was worth it to her.

So when you see that someone's house is perfectly clean all the time, or they have perfect Pinterest holidays, or they make all organic healthy food all the time, remember that impressive achievement is their 5 cakes, and it came at the price of chaos in a different area.

I want to celebrate my own 5 cake achievements, and the achievements of others, without apologizing, comparing, or needing excuses.


JamesnMeagan said...

Totally needed to read this today! Thanks!

Clairice Dennis said...

I love this theory- very well said! Also I always love your comics with the McBabies! :)

Steffy said...

I love this!