June 19, 2010

The Fine Art of Controlling and Maintaining Your Chaos

A.A. Milne wrote that “One of the advantages of being disorderly, is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”

My focus here is organization…something that is a bit of a stranger to me…and not the kind of stranger bearing Sweet Tarts and licorice-the kind that smiles creepily from behind a bushy beardless mustache and large far too dark seventies style glasses. The kind that makes me run-not walk-to the nearest exit. “Stranger Danger” brand of stranger. This may seem like a bit of an overstatement. After all, organization IS a friend to most. For precious few of us however, chaos is a better friend, and thus, organization in its essence, poses a threat to our friend Chaos. The two are amicable adversaries-like…Batman and Poison Ivy. They are unable to peacefully coexist…they suffer from a vicious, incurable case of irreconcilable differences. Chaos is a reliable and thrilling friend who is forever challenging and engaging us. The type of friend that found YOU and proceeded to wind itself around your heart like a wildly exotic flowering weed. As a result, WE-keepers and friends of chaos, are forced against our nature to organize a plan to care for it, nurture it, embrace it- to keep it from the oppressive tyrannical rule of organization. So…for the creatively and colorfully, organizationally inept, here are three tips for keeping your chaos happy. First, Keep things fresh. All work and no play makes chaos dull company. Second, make sure chaos knows how much it means to you. Every strong relationship requires effort. And third, Learn to be discreet. Secret service brand of discreet. Your job is to protect chaos from being stifled, color coded and filed alphabetically. Nothing TOO complicated. You’ve got this covered.

Keep your relationship exciting. Let’s not get confused here, chaos isn’t interested in cutesy notes on the refrigerator, or coming home to you in ponytails and knee socks. Chaos longs to roll in the grass and howl at the moon. Chaos craves frivolous fodder-it hungers for it...requires it even. Picture the Venus Fly Trap from Little Shop of Horrors. You know the one…”Feed Me Seymour”. Only…instead of human beings, your Chaos Flytrap feeds on adrenaline, bustle-it thrives on your ability to pile your plate high with activities and responsibilities. How ELSE can it shine? There is no “grace under pressure” without pressure. Chaos however, one ups grace. When facing a seemingly monumental challenge-chaos finds its stride. And when it does, it dances the tango, the Charleston, and the running man…backwards and blindfolded. With a flourish and jazz hands. Chaos manages to shine in vintage Valentino and strappy Jimmy Choo’s with five inch heels. No one does it better. Keep it fresh and chaos will reciprocate. Teaching you to be graceful on your toes…after all, that is EXACTLY how chaos loves you best.

Make chaos feel appreciated. While you can’t show chaos the love with lip gloss and foot rubs-you most certainly can give credit where credit is due. Instead of making false claims like “I work best under pressure” tell the truth…you ONLY work under pressure. Also, chaos puts more life in your living. While the others, like ants in a line are marching methodically to the beat of the same dull drum-stealing crumbs from other peoples’ picnics, you are having a delectable picnic all your own. An ant free picnic complete with gourmet cheeses and pinot noir. When you lift your glass to toast, toast to chaos-“The electric guitar in your rock opera, the flavor in your filet mignon, and the ruby in your slippers“. Toast to chaos for placing your labor in fiery multicolored stacks that you will heroically and dramatically stamp out together. And in between fires, chaos gives you the gift of fluttering and dancing carelessly through the air like a monarch on a summer night’s breeze. While the Live to Workers are crawling wearily into their hill, tripping over one another and reporting to their queen…you have the benefit…seven times out of ten…of ruling your own kingdom-sporting your very own, very shiny, bling studded crown while stretched out on your luxuriously roomy throne, being fed bon-bons by….emo vampiress, or crooners, or…whomever you choose. Chaos is primarily responsible for that. So in the historic words of Billy Joel, “Tell her about it.” Be good to your chaos and in turn, your chaos will be good to you.

Protect your chaos. Defend her against the haters. Wear a black suit and shades if it helps you to feel the part. Or…pretend that chaos is your very own child prodigy- blessed with a gift so profound that the world is not capable of appreciating it just yet and so for now…you keep it under your protective wing…willing to go ninja in its defense if need be. There IS some accuracy to that scenario after all. There is something inspiring in chaos that evokes and stimulates creativity. The organized world of order will NOT understand your methods. They will view your chaos as a problem to be solved. So it is probably best…to “Fake it-SO you can make it.” Model some pseudo organizational skills. Fake the need to squeeze everything into multicolored boxes, even ones that typically the wrong shape and size, where the item inside is bent and squeezed inside- growling and wiggling, pushing against the constraints of its box top. Think of it as preventing Batman from hosing your Poison Ivy down with weed killer. Protect your muse…you’re the only one that NEEDS to understand…and likely the only one that will. While the masses appreciate the masterpieces that chaos creates, her ways cause them confusion, disillusionment and discomfort. So unless you want your castle of chaos stormed by torch bearing villagers? Keep her under wraps.

In conclusion, while the world has a fierce Martha Stewart style need to put everything neatly into place, you need to strew those precise same items all over the room. You need to see and touch and smell and taste and feel EXACTLY what it is that you are working with at all times. How are you to make lemonade of life's lemons without knowing where the sugar, sparkling water, crazy straws, and purple umbrellas are kept? You also MUST allow a deadline to get down to the last possible second, there is something hypnotically musical about the racing of your heart. You need to swing from a vine rope in pink leopard skin bathing suit sou, while expressing your intentions in impassioned cries resembling that of a pack of voracious coyotes. In order to sufficiently carpe your diem-you require full view of your open box of sixty four Crayolas because you just never know when a situation will scream for chartreuse. As a result, chaos has become a John to your Paul, and an Athena to your Odysseus. You make a brilliant pair. Chaos is a friend that quintessentially believes that variety IS not only the spice of life, but the air and heartbeat too. She requires adventure, appreciation and a watchful eye. Because if you desire for chaos to ensue on your behalf, there IS an organized way to go about keeping her (happy).

So leave the organized masked masses to their pre plotted, goofy side-kicked, Bat-caved existence. You, Chaos, (aka Ivy), the Wind and I have countless thrilling horizons to explore and volumes of thrilling discoveries yet to make.

*Raising a crystal glass swirled with a brilliant kaleidoscope of Oz vivid Colors*

"To chaos"