Very recently I went to visit my mother, she’s turning 70 and I wanted to spend some time with her. I packed up my laptop and went to her house, planning to work from her home for a week instead of my own. Day one found my normal composed demeanor unraveling in the chaos around me. What I didn’t take into account was that my “normal” was far from hers. Suddenly back in the home I grew up in, I couldn’t have felt more out of control. From the blind, ailing cat that continued to bump into my leg, to the only three-pronged plug in the house forcing me to work at the kitchen snack-bar next to the air fryer, I found myself exuding an ever increasing bad temper. I’m embarrassed to say that the bad temper reared its ugly head in some pretty harsh words to my mother as I was cleaning out her cupboards throwing away expired cake mixes from 2015.
After my cake mix induced meltdown, I realized that I was allowing myself to be pulled into chaos. I felt out of control because everything here was so different from the structures I had in my own home and different from what I was used to. I realized I was lambasting my poor mother for not living in an environment that was exactly like mine. I was at fault and it was up to me to adjust to this change if I wanted to spend time with her. I promise I made a very heartfelt apology to my mother, which she graciously accepted.
Chaos comes with uncertainty, insecurities, fears and an inability to control the situation. Often times there is a very real lack of control that we all live with. Whether it’s larger societal and world events making us feel very small or things just absolutely outside of our control, sometimes the first step to make sense out of chaos is to simply acknowledge what is out of our control and turn our focus on to what we can do. That’s when we need to channel our inner peace to reduce stress and calm the chaos, then our inner peace can be found again. I began with creating one space that I could work in, one space that gave me a small sense of control. I moved the two piano benches into another room (my mom does not own a piano, by the way), purchased an adaptor plug so I could charge my laptop in this space, and I shut the door. These seemingly small things allowed me to regain some sense of my own normalcy. When my work day was done, I could exit this space and enjoy the evening spending time with my mother helping her with things around the house she wanted my help with.