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Life interrupted… or… how to find calm in the midst of chaos

September 11th, 2007 · 7 Comments

Quite often, I’ll start writing here, and then, when I’m done – I’ll go back and try and think of a brilliant, catchy title to entice you to read. Today, that title came first. Do you want to come with me and see where it leads?

I’ve been busy. Actually, that’s not quite true. My schedule, commitments and life lately – when I have .045 of a second to reflect – has been the sort that brings women to their knees. Literally.

make time in your schedule for joy…

Presented a workshop and manned a table at the Business Mums Network Conference on the weekend with my dear colleague Chris Owen. There is more, much more, to write about the weekend – but let’s just list it here, and that can come when it’s ready.

The conference was in Melbourne, and I live in Brisbane. So, a couple of nights away from home, HUGE preparations for the workshop and the display, and the door prize, yadda yadda… (and a big, huge thank you to hubby for manning the fort while I was gone… nobody was mortally injured and he even managed to survive grocery shopping… bravo!)

But wait… that’s not all.

My first born is in Year 12 – and it’s exam time. ’nuff said?

My middle child was home sick all week last week – with sinus, chest and tonsil infections (the unholy trinity, I do believe). And the horse is hers… which meant guess who had to feed him, rug him, unrug him…

There is a bathroom, loo and laundry renovation thrown in there for good measure. We’ve been sharing a bathroom with our children for over three weeks now, and the novelty of the ‘shower timetable’ in the early hours of the morning has worn off a little. (And the boys were known to go water a tree occasionally when their sister was monopolising the bathroom for her ‘quick’ three hour shower – goodness help us if she needed to wash her hair!!!)

And did I mention the jackhammering and grinding of old tiles off the concrete floor before the new ones could be laid? I don’t even want to think about the thick layer of concrete dust coating the entire house.

No, I am not complaining. No-one ever listens, anyway.

But amounst all this – being a Mum, a Wife, a business woman, a friend, a counsellor, an interior designer, a coach, a dog and horse handler, aagh, I need to stop this litany right now! – I kept remembering just one thing.


Today, I am paying a small price for all this madness – a sore throat and scratchy voice.

I’ve been lectured about taking my vitamin C, getting some rest, taking a dose of my own medicine. OK. I’m listening.

I’m also listening to my soul. And it’s telling me – time to interrupt.

Andrea Lee talked about interrupt on a blog I squeezed in time to read while waiting for something today. Here’s her take on it:

Of course, post-conference life is terribly interrupted now, by design. And I’m grateful. Like a big trunk full of toys collected over the years, sometimes you have to dump all the pieces of your life on the ground in a mess in order to decide what to play with next.

Interrupting life this way means it will be impossible to put all the toys back the way they were before. What a perfect relief!

I love how interruptions can open us up to possibility. I think that’s what is going on here.

In the midst of chaos, my life has never looked so good. It’s beautiful. The bathroom is looking really dreamy (maybe I’ll take a photo and share – would you like that?)… I’m looking forward to a good long soak in our new spa bath – big enough to disappear into!

The chaos in my home from all these renovations is a great opportunity to declutter and simplify my life (and, yes, that will probably be writing fodder in the not-too-distant-future), and I am looking forward to this weekend, with no plans except to clear out the excess, the ugly, the old and worn and the junk.

I’m clearing space in my home for the wonderful things that are just waiting there at the gate… they are waiting for room and I’m ready to welcome possibilities in with an open heart and a song.

No, it’s not all wine and roses (well, no roses, anyway). But in amoung the thorns, there is always a new bud waiting to show it’s beauty to the world.

I hope this week you are blessed with many, many buds and enough thorns to enable you to appreciate the beauty of a flower in full bloom.

a rose by any other name… would still make my heart sing with joy

Tags: Why Did I Have Children? · Wonder Woman

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Verna Wilder // Sep 12, 2007 at 7:05 am

    Yes! Take photos of the new bathroom and post them. I want to see this!

    Ah, the life of a mother! I remember feeling like all I ever did was cart kids around, picking them up here and dropping them off there, listening to them talk in the car and smelling their green apple bubblegum and the latest experiment in cologne (I had girls and always had to drive with the window open, even in winter, so I wouldn’t pass out from the smells).

    Take good care of yourself, dear Karen.

  • 2 Angela Esnouf // Sep 12, 2007 at 8:14 am

    I love that even surrounded by chaos you can find the calm and beauty in life, Karen. You are an inspiration. Take care.

  • 3 karen // Sep 12, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    Verna – I know what you mean about driving with an open window – I’ve on occasion had a car full of boys after sport – whew! Needed EVERY window down then…

    Don’t think I’ve ever come across green apple bubblegum, though. I’ll get those photos of the bathroom up soon! thanks

  • 4 karen // Sep 12, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Angela- you are so sweet, thank you for your comments. It’s nice to think that someone, somewhere gets a little inspiration from my world.

    It was wonderful to finally meet you on the weekend!

  • 5 April Groves // Sep 13, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Good for you, Karen! Good for accomplishing, good for doing, good for the interruption! It is all about balancing. Do, Do, Rest. And a big “Ditto” for enjoying the chaos – I too find it Beautiful.

  • 6 Chris // Sep 13, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Karen
    As I’m suffering my own version of post-conference breakdown I now have a new perspective. Trust you to find the space for calm and opportunity! Little old Glass Half Empty here needed a dose of reminding!
    Thanks and keep up the self-care
    And I want photos of the completed bathroom! ( Remember i only saw it in its glamourous torn-apart version, with the additional fortune/misfortune of the beauty of the builder – oh why do they wear shorts like that??)

  • 7 Anne Maybus // Sep 16, 2007 at 6:52 am

    You have such a wonderful way of looking at things. I love to read your work. I was disappointed not to be at the conference to see you at work!

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