Monday, August 3, 2009

Being okay with chaos

Fred's Mom and our niece just left after spending four days with us. It just so happens that my Mom is also staying with us for two weeks. If you have your scorecards ready, that's four adults, a seven year old, an almost 23 month old, and one needy and neurotic 45-pound dog hanging together in 1678 square feet. That, my friends, is a lot of togetherness.

There was a time that a scenario like that would have sent me into a tailspin of nervousness and hyperventilating. When we lived in San Francisco; Fred's Mom, Dad and Grandma all came to stay with us when we lived in 595 square feet of apartment. We also had an 80 pound dog at that time. I'm not sure how I got through it, but I do remember taking A.Jacks for a lot of walks.

It's not that I don't love Fred's family. I've said it before, I have been blessed with a great set of in-laws. I just need my space. Fred's family is European, and have no problem with so much togetherness. I chalk it up to being from a place where there's a lot of people living in a little space. I looked it up and Portugal has 110 people per square kilometer (153 per square mile), whereas Canada has 6 people per square kilometer (9 per square mile). Do you see why I need my space? And yes, I am aware that most of Canada in uninhabitable, but sometimes a girl needs to be alone. Even if it is on frozen tundra.

What was I talking about again? Ah yes, chaos. I may seem so calm and cool on the outside (hahahahaha), but when you give me ingredients like the ones from this weekend, all I can envision cooking up is one big chaotic mess.

Which, essentially, is what we had this weekend. But you know what? I was okay with it. As I looked around and saw towels hanging from any available space, suitcases littered about like abandoned vehicles, and so many shoes at my front door you'd swear Seven had started wearing them too, it didn't bother me.

Elise was walking around with paint on her face, hands and clothes, looking like she was going into battle. But so what? She was having a blast with her cousin Carolina and loved all the attention she was getting.

People were loading my dishwasher all wrong, and putting things back in the wrong places. But who cares? At least I wasn't the one having to do it!

I must be mellowing out in my old age, because as the chaos was swirling around me like a spring storm in Texas, I was actually enjoying it. I realized that nobody cared about the mess or the cramped quarters, they were too busy having fun being with each other to even notice.

And so another life lesson learned. Wow, two in the span of about a month. If I keep all this learning up, I'm going to know everything soon!


Val said...

I'm beginning to wonder who this Joanne is and what has she done with old Joanne? Isn't it great to be able to let some of it go???