We bought this garden pinwheel last week. For three dollars, it has sparked an incredible amount of joy. My kids eyes light up in wonder, amazement and exhilaration, as it catches a breeze and spins wildly in the wind.
As an introvert, and someone who scored incredibly high on the personality trait that likes to plan ahead, be organized and have structure and clarity, embracing the colourful chaos is hard thing for me do.
I often find myself feeling stressed out and overwhelmed because in reality, the day-to-day, but more specifically the kid factor, creates an obscene amount of variables and surprises that you have to adapt to.
When things start to feel out of control, I tend to hold on tighter. I work against whatever force is trying to take over and as the day starts to resemble the pinwheel, I reluctantly, but at the same time impulsively, put my hand out to slow it down.
To be honest, this strategy is straight up exhausting and painful. There’s so much wasted energy when you are coming from an angle of opposition. Whether it’s challenges with kids, work, spouses/partners, you’re just brewing up a perfect opportunity for resistance.
Ironically, when I try to control what’s happening around me, I have less control of what’s happening inside me. During this time my mindset can easily turn negative and the narrative often becomes ‘this isn’t fair.’
Kids are going to be kids. Life is going to be difficult. There’s going to be struggles, obstacles and challenges. Winter is still going to come every year and the wind is not going to stop blowing.
So lately, I’ve been trying to embrace the colourful chaos. Instead of trying to control and adjust my external situation, I’ve been trying to regulate myself instead.
Taking a breath. Realizing I have no control over the reality of my kids screaming and fighting, and recognizing that my oppositional energy just tends to make it worse.
Realizing I have no control over what people say to me or how they respond or don’t respond, but I do have control over how I feel, recognizing how I feel, and stepping up to voice those needs and wants.
Now I know this sounds simple and easy, maybe even a little ridiculous. Like, why wouldn’t you do that all the time? It makes perfect sense, right? But unless you are actively thinking about it, it’s so easy, in the moment, to forget.
Since taking this approach, I have felt more in control then I ever have. My irritation doesn’t instantly crawl up my spine and my temper doesn’t continually flare up.
Circumstances don’t compound on top of one another, because there’s a way for me to step outside of them. There’s a way to reset myself periodically throughout the day so there’s more space to enjoy and embrace the colourful parts of my life.
And the colourful chaos is just that – chaotic. When my kids look at that pinwheel, there’s energy and excitement in their eyes. They scream and squeal and just want it to go faster and faster, and often times, life is the same way. It’s fast and messy and all over the place.
But making a decision to be out there with the wild and unpredictable gusts, instead of fighting against it, gives you the opportunity to see and truly appreciate all the beauty, because even though life can be chaotic at times, it is and always will be incredibly colourful.