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The Chaos Curve: Part I

September 23rd, 2011 | 2 min read

By Cate MacDonald

A meditation originally written for The Twenty Pieces Project

I've noticed that I tend to self-reform in waves, waves usually started by an awareness of overwhelming chaos that grows gradually over time (or comes on suddenly, if Facebook gets involved. What is happening over there?). It always seems that, unless kept firmly in check, my mind and heart can become constantly distracted, aided and abetted by my computer, refrigerator, and closet.

I've started to picture my life tracing the path of a bell curve. I start simply enough, with an orderly calendar, a clean house, a fresh trip to the grocery store. But as I go along, things seem to crowd in. Suddenly I'm double booked four times this week. Where did all these clothes come from? How is it possible that I have five heads of lettuce and nothing else? It's Farmville time! You know what's fun? Browsing Twitter for three hours. Sure! I'll be in charge of that! I really should start a new blog! And tweet about it!  Before I know it, I've advanced up a huge hill of mess, useless busyness, and chaos that then causes me to want to sell all my possessions, become a hermit, swear off the internet forever, and go on a diet. And so I find myself back on the straight and narrow, and the cycle starts again.

I guess it comes down to the fact that I am a seriously immoderate person. I tend towards passionate waves of self-denial or indulgence, rather than the happy medium of holy submission. I want very much to grow towards moderation; to learn to be fed, rather than to stuff or starve myself, to put one foot in front of the other instead of leaping about until I fall.

In the coming weeks I want to explore some themes that have come up for me as  I begin to become more (kind of, sort of, barely) moderate. Some of the topics wandering around in my head are how I handle entertainment, what it means to engage in corporate spiritual disciplines, understanding financial limitations, and embracing a (seemingly) completely boring lifestyle. And of course, how all of this affects my closet.

There is, however, a further complication. I am feeling utterly tired of myself.  It's a hard place to blog from, since blogging is essentially based on the idea that the writer has something worth saying. I remain unconvinced, but that might just be all the lettuce in the refrigerator talking.