Definition: Chaos – Behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.
Change is my Achilles heal.
I love change and I dread it.
Usually once things have changed, I find that change is not so bad. Typically, with change, I gain experience, and that leads to learning something. I love knowledge, so this is a big win for me. Which is why I love change.
Change also means that all the things I am used to and comfortable with might shift or simply go away. I love being comfortable with my environment and having an idea of what will happen next. So this is why I hate change.
Trapped in this duality between boredom and adrenal fatigue, I tend to oscillate back and forth between, alternately seeking out change and running away from change. As you can imagine, it is a rather frantic way to live and leads to a lot of energy spent for not much result. AKA, much ado about nothing…
There has been a pretty consistent history of this kind of behavior from me:
I want to go away to another state for college.
About 6 months into school, “I want to move back home”.
I want to get married.
About 6 days into the honeymoon, “I can’t believe I’m married”.
Let’s have kids.
About 6 months into fatherhood, “I don’t want to be a dad”.
Gratefully in all the above examples, and many others, I have managed to get the help I needed to stick it out. I found people that I could talk through the issues with and also allowed myself to go through the process knowing, “I have survived the past, odds are I will survive the future.”
In each case I’m grateful to say that the change has stuck. Though I still pinch myself some days when I realize I’m actually a Dad. “Who let that happen?”
I am delighted to report, as of this writing, that I have a brand new 5 day old baby boy. He was born healthy, weighing in as a considerable 10-lbs chunk. As my second child the change is slightly less dramatic/traumatic. But it’s still change and change is good/change is bad. I love/hate change.
I’m very excited to have a new baby boy. But the strain on the family as we all deal with this change has been tremendous.
Our 3-year-old got sick.
Our sleep cycles have all been disrupted.
Our Stamina has been tested to the limits.
He’s only 5 days old, what does the future hold?
The short answer: The future holds change.
What I am learning is that me stressing about things not going according to plan, doesn’t really change anything.
Ideally we would all enter into this miracle of birth at the peak of health.
Ideally we would find a rhythm with two children that would enable us to get full nights of sleep.
Ideally my schedule would return to normal and I could resume my normally roster of activities.
But that is not how chaos and change work.
Change requires us to become comfortable with the new and let go of the old. What you consider normal is what used to be normal. But by definition the old normal is now abnormal. You must come to terms with the new normal.
So my task, and yours if you choose to take it on, is to embrace change and the chaos that comes with it. I don’t know what will be required of me 5 minutes from now. I don’t know if I’ll be able to move forward with my plans for tomorrow. But I do know that everything will be okay.
I have survived the past, odds are I will survive the future.