How to (Not) Contain the Chaos

Posted on by Alyson Jones. Posted in Blog.

The MORE you think you can control Chaos, the MORE you are humbled.

There is no doubt that my intentions were good, but I was certainly setting myself up for a “reality check”. When I look back on my trip to Italy it is amazing how many of the MORE steps outlined in my book were actually put into action before, during and after the trip.

To be honest I think I was fighting those old perfectionistic tendencies. Step #2 in “M.O.R.E. A New Philosophy for Exceptional Living” is titled “Give up Perfectionism and Become a Exceptionalist”. Looking back on it I can certainly claim that it was an exceptional trip, but it was also a trip with some unexpected turns and twists. Rather like life in general in fact.

Prior to the trip I decided that for once I was going to be on top of it. I had several months to plan my trip, and I was determined that this time I was going to do things differently. I did not want to start my trip exhausted. This was not going to be a vacation, but a working trip with a lot of expectations and deadlines. I was heading off to Italy for a Collaborative Law Conference, and a promotional tour of my book “M.O.R.E”. I knew I was going to need my energy and focus. For once I wanted to take time off from the office without the whirlwind of chaos that had preceded so many other holidays and trips. This time I was going to contain the chaos!

The bags were packed a week in advance. All the tours and activities were booked and confirmed. I cut back on caffeine, and only ate healthy, fresh food that nurtured me. We were leaving in 2 days. My paperwork was managed, and I just had to figure out how to get that notification on my e-mail that I would be away for 2 weeks.

I got up early Friday morning and went for a quiet walk to collect and ground myself. Then I went into the office to see a couple of clients, lead a Team Meeting and complete a few administrative tasks. Well, the walk was the end of any peace I had for the next 2 days. I received a call that my son had a terrible fever, and that was just the beginning of things going sideways. At least 3 clients were having a crisis and needed to talk to me right away; there were some unexpected complications regarding one of the planned tours, and a friend had a serious health crisis. Well to make a long story short, I eventually made it to bed that evening so exhausted I could hardly speak. The next morning I decided to let go of my expectations of controlling all the variables and creating a stress free transition. The chaos is just part of an exceptional life, and sometimes you just have to learn to dance in the rain. The chaos may actually make the subsequent rewards even sweeter. By the way, I never did get that notification on my computer!