That is exactly what I’ve been trying to do the last couple months.
Our family moved at the beginning of July. We moved about an hour away from the city we were living in. I have to say that the move itself went very well. It went quite smoothly thanks to the help of our families. But there is a fair amount of chaos involved in packing up a family of five and settling into a new place, both before and after, because that is on top of the everyday responsibilities.
I’m learning that I really don’t like disorder. It makes me very uncomfortable. I can live with a dirty desk, but not a messy one. So, I’ve had a difficult time with all the changes to my routine, as well as with the loss of what is familiar. It’s been hard to get back into a creative state of mind even after all the boxes are unpacked. But I was able to push through, by God’s grace, and create this one spread in my Happy Journal. So, I thought I would share a few steps, or tips, on how to thrive during chaotic times.
1. The first is to embrace the chaos.
Don’t fight it. Don’t wish it away or pretend it doesn’t exist. Don’t attempt to fix it all right away. And, don’t stress out about it when you can’t. I mean, it is what it is and sometimes there isn’t much that can done about it, at least not right away. Yet, it’s still life; all of which is a privilege. So, commit to living through it well.
To do this, I turned to gratitude to help me keep a positive state of mind. That’s what these black boxes will be used for.
2. Do what you can.
Do what you can to create some semblance of order to make it less chaotic. Focus first on the priority items – those necessities that will enable you to function and to keep life moving. This will also allow you to rest and not be burnt out in the process of trying to fix everything.
For us, that meant unpacking boxes for the kitchen and bathroom, and other items that were essential to our daily living. We had to wait a while to get furniture for our clothing, so I used a tip I got from my sister who moved not too long ago herself. And that is to use the empty boxes to separate, organize and store our everyday clothing so that we could maintain that rhythm.
3. Create a plan for resolving the remaining tasks at a later time.
If I’ve learned anything about the mind it’s that it will remind you, pester you really, that something is wrong and it needs your attention right now! So, get it out of your head by creating a realistic plan to address all the to-dos. When your mind brings it up again, just remind yourself that it’s dealt with – you have a plan and it will get done. Then, execute that plan in due time.
For this, I created several lists. There was a running list of tasks per room and, on each list, I indicated which tasks were the priority and focused on those first.
4. The fourth tip, and probably the most important, is to prioritize your purpose.
Don’t let the chaos distract you from your calling; from what matters most. Of course, time may be required to address those necessities, as I mentioned in the second step, but don’t delay returning to what’s most important. Make the time.
I find it helpful to think: five years from now, if I were to look back on this period of time, what do I want to remember? What was most valuable? What was the most impactful use of my time and energy? Then I decide from there.
What about you – how do you make the most of chaotic times in your life?
I hope these tips were helpful!
Joy & Peace, Sister!