Monday, March 19, 2012

Dumping Chaos- 15 Minutes At A Time

First off, thanks for the nice comments concerning my dog and his health.


He is doing OK for now and through some experimentation I have found ways to keep things pretty even keel for the time being.  I am satisfied with where things are for Parker in this moment.  I hope and pray that things progress along a natural course and I am not forced to make tougher decisions.  Being spared that would be a wonderful gift.

As to my topic for today of 'dumping chaos', it certainly is a bit of a spill-over from my last post about the crazy ups and downs of life.  And 'dumping chaos' is something that I might just have more insights to share about in time as I go along with my efforts to do so.

So let's see... some historical information might be of value here.  Chaos has certainly had an effect on me for much of my life.  And then when I started this whole journey of deciding that I want to make a major cross country move and some other life changes, I noticed that chaos had not only become a regular visitor in my life, but also had actually taken over my life completely.

Chaos was everywhere for me and I didn't even see it.  So many people I love had so much chaos in their lives that I thought I was doing OK as I certainly didn't have chaos at their level.  Ugh, I was wrong.  Turns out you can't really allow chaos near you without getting some on you!

So as I set out to make some life changes and ready myself to make some bigger dreams come true, I found had a lot of cleaning up to do- both figuratively and literally.  I needed to make room for the things I want my life to be and I needed to be sure to stop sabotaging my efforts by letting chaos creep into everything around me.

This has been a long process.  An emotional process to be sure.  A process that is best shared in multiple small doses over time.

As I read around the blogoshpere today I see that it seems I am not alone in my quest to choose a life without chaos, a life that suits my needs and goals a lot better than it has in the past.    A good example of this can be read and digested over at MizFitOnline.  Carla has written some blogger gold on related topics over there recently.  

As for me today, I will conquer one small aspect that has made a big difference in my life here at home:  how I take 15 minutes and turn it into a real improvement in my surroundings, aesthetically and essentially.

First let me admit that although I consider myself more than an average domestic goddess, there ARE some things that I just don't enjoy doing here on the home front.  One of those things is yard work.  For some reason I equate yard work with torture.  Even though I love the fact that doing the yard work results in money saved and good times spent with loved ones in garden and play areas on sunny days, I just have not been often motivated to do the work to get to the result.

So... in comes my 15 minute plan.  In the last couple of months I have made a real effort concerted effort to plan out time to work in the yard for 15 minutes at a time.  Doesn't sound like much, but it is. 

Some of the things I have accomplished in about 15 minutes are:  trimming and fertilizing the roses, cleaning leftover leaves from one area of the yard at a time, cleaning out flower pots to ready them for planting, mixing in new dirt and fertilizer in those flower pots, weeding out one small garden area at a time, treating moss on the roof one section at a time, planting some new stuff, scrubbing off one section at a time of our concrete patio, cleaning out one section of gutters... you get the idea.

I stumbled upon this idea when I was waiting for a friend.  At first I thought that hauling out all the 'stuff' to do the project would take up all the time I had and that I would end up actually doing the work later.  Then I realized how quick it was to just dive in and get something done.  Now I often end up working a little longer than 15 minutes, but I also allow myself to celebrate what I have done if 15 minutes is all I have.

15 minutes is way better than nothing and I am finding that I don't have such an uphill battle staring me in the face.  I find that my loathing for yard work has diminished greatly and this 15 minutes at a time has taken a good load of chaos from my surroundings and gives me a neater, cleaner world to look at and live in. 

This 15 minute approach may not work for everything, but you may be surprised at what can be tackled in this way.


  1. Love the 15 minute idea! I think I will use this idea here at my home. I have so many things and projects I need to get done, but they all seem so big. But most of them would be ok to spend 15 minutes on at a time. And your right when motivated one can accomplish quite a bit in 15 minute!

    Good luck with the yard work.
    Maybe we should switch. I don't mind yardwork, but I am not a domestic goddess.

  2. Life is not all uphill. Sometimes, our journey is riding high, and sometimes, it is all downhill. The problem is that many people believe that when things are not smooth, something is wrong. Not so. That is life! Ups and downs make up our journey, so when we are down, things are normal. I did not mean to get so deep, but I do welcome chaos. It is from chaos that great ideas, like the one you describe, are spawned.

  3. @ Amber- Unfortunately I am too far away to switch with you, otherwise I would be more than happy to do so!

    @JJ- While I agree that we all learn many needed life skills while dealing with chaotic moments, there is a big difference between normal levels of chaos that enter every life and the levels of chaos that take over and hinder any kind of attempt to live a normal life.
    Addiction to chaos and drama are a major issue for those of us who grew up in truly dysfunctional situations and it is a huge victory to learn how to deal with a normal amount of chaos while realizing that constant chaos is not healthy nor desirable.
    I'm glad to have the skills and no longer dwell on how they came to be. I am happy to deal with lifes ups and downs in a balanced way.


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