Doing Well While Living with Ambiguity

This has been A WEEK. A week with way too much drama, and a series of unexpected events that arrived in a perfect set of three. As these events often do.

Generally, I do well adapting to changes large and small. My profession and my livelihood actually depend upon me being a flexible and agile leader and thinker, and above all making intense decisions under deadlines. I really love my work – it makes me feel alive.

But everything in my life right now – other than my marriage, kids and friends – feels ever-changing. Obviously, the remodel means my house is full of workers, and often it seems they are chipping away Mount Rushmore one day, one small chip at a time. We still have no kitchen, no furniture and no end date in sight. The workers are there every single day (even on the weekends) and it feels relentless, loud and frustrating. It’s been six months since we began construction. So when unexpected things happen, I don’t feel properly harnessed in.

I went through a phase where I climbed. If you do it properly, there’s a feeling that you can move through thin air, finding the footholds and handholds in the mountain face, as long as you are properly harnessed and, in my case, you have a partner who can lead the climbing route and properly belay you and anchor your route. I never was good enough to be the lead partner, but right now it feels like I am the lead partner establishing an unsteady route. I guess I know I can do it, but it’s challenging.

One of the best writers I ever worked with, a hardened small-town reporter who eventually switched sides, once told me the more “I”s a sentence contained, the worse the writing was. I hate writing these kind of posts because deep down there’s truth in that view. It’s the unusual writer who is able to tell universal truths and communicate wonderful meaningful things through the use of “I”.

Sidebar – There is an exception. I recently read the first book of “My Struggle” by Karl Ove Knausgaard, and it blew me away. My husband, after reading it, asked why hadn’t anyone else ever written anything like that? I replied that bloggers do, but somehow it’s not the same. Maybe it’s because there are so many posts and we write them day by day, not in one book? Maybe it’s because bloggers think of our audiences more and the everyday reactions, and we expect things from them and aren’t willing to really go out there on a limb like Knausgaard does? He’s somehow selfless while talking about himself. He’s not asking for our pity or understanding, or head pats or sympathy but somehow he’s trying to make his experience universal so we all understand ourselves better. It’s an excellent read and I recommend it highly. 

Anyway, if anyone has any tips on thriving while living in chaos, I’m all ears. Other than yoga. I suck at yoga. Also, thoughts welcome on Knausgaard and his work! 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Doing Well While Living with Ambiguity

  1. There’s only on thing I’ve done to get me through chaos – and that’s chant. But meditation of your choice is also very helpful. Also equanimity.

  2. Sorry your life is in chaos at the moment. Maybe giving yourself a few treats to look forward to would help? — a nice day (or even an hour or two) at the spa (facial, massage, mani/pedi), afternoon tea, a day at the beach, etc.?

    I haven’t read Knausgaard (yet?) — from what I’ve seen & heard (excerpts, his recent NYT magazine article, etc.), his journals sound very interesting — and, being part Scandinavian, I’m interested in what he could teach me about that culture & mindset. 😉 But I’m sure if I started reading the first one, I would get hooked & I’m not sure I want to take on a massive multi-volume reading project right now, lol.

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