15 Jan A row of neat and tidy boxes
We have just finished a weekend of some serious spring cleaning and it feels so good! It somehow feels as though order has been restored, equilibrium found, even though there is still much more to be done. There is no doubt that I am an A Type personality. I am most content when things are in order, everything in its place. I feel energised when I feel that I have control of my surroundings and situations.
I like to picture my life as a row of boxes marked with big letters – mom, wife, work, home, spiritual life, diet and exercise, etc. Generally, all the boxes are in a neat and tidy row, all their belongings packed away in their place. Quite often, these boxes get knocked over and the pieces inside starting spilling out. This is when things start feeling quite chaotic, when I feel as though I don’t have my finger on the pulse, I’m falling behind, losing control. Keeping all the boxes and their contents in this neat and tidy row requires planning, lists and organisation. I’m good at that, I enjoy it. It makes me feel in control.
On 10 May last year, many of these boxes came toppling over and without any warning my life, and the lives of those closest to me, became a mixed pool of chaos. I went into premature labour at 32 weeks pregnant, while going about my normal work day moving from one meeting to the next. When I finally decided to acknowledge that something was not quite right and I called my doctor in the late afternoon, he instructed me to meet him at the hospital immediately. I arrived there that Tuesday afternoon and didn’t leave for two weeks. When I did finally get to go home, it was on strict bed rest terms. Those were the longest, most frustrating six weeks of my life. There was no order, no control. I felt totally helpless.
When I look back at the last nine months, that time was the starting point of a downward spiral to a dark place that I’m so thankful to now be out of. What is certainly clear to me now is that out of that immensely challenging time I learnt the most valuable lesson of 2016. Sometimes, the boxes won’t be in neat and tidy rows, and that is ok. Sometimes, I won’t have control of all the pieces, and that is ok. Sometimes, I have to just move forward courageously without sight of what tomorrow will bring. I need to take a deep breath and have a little faith.