Chaos: like it’s a bad thing…

Monday morning I settled in to do some (overdue) focused work at our weekend house. Within minutes, the painters showed up to to repair the decks and the vibrating sounds of power washing, power sanding and nail guns came at me from all sides. Chaos.

No problem, universe. I got this. I can control my thoughts. I then turned on the computer only to find that the internet is out.

Within a few minutes I decide not only that there is no way I can work this morning, but the whole day is shot and now I will be behind all week.

And I will NEVER be able to do what I want because:

Our lives are too unpredictable.
There’s too much going on,
I wilI never be able to coach if the internet and a quiet room are not reliable,
I can’t write so I can’t keep up with my goal of posting 25 blog posts in 30 days.
I can’t think, so I can’t create the content for my coaching clients.
Why did I ever even think I could take the time to do this?

And then, suddenly…. Quiet.
The painters are pulling out coffee thermoses and bagels and quietly chatting on the lawn. I can hear birdsong and the wind in the trees.

Blissful quiet?
No. Not this girl. I’m on a roll.

Because the noise is only going to start up again, right? In 10 minutes? Maybe 30?
The minute I settle in they will rev up again and
I. Just. Can’t
Nope it’s impossible the whole week will be catch up and since it’s mid June already I am definitely falling behind for the second quarter. And then the year is half over…

So my brain has run away with me and I’m blaming everyone and then the big guns. Not nail guns.
The angry self talk.

What a baby you are?
Do you know how lucky you are to have gotten these contractors over here this week?
And that you can afford to pay them?
And that you have a weekend house?
And that your contractors are such great people who do such good work?
When exactly did you want them to come? When it’s convenient for you?

So, first the bitch session. Then the self-loathing. And it’s only Monday.

What do I do now? The same thing I tell my clients. Start with the facts, ma’am. Just the facts.

Facts: Monday AM, power washing, power sanding & nail guns around the 4 sides of house. Internet Not working.

Thought (about Fact): It’s ALWAYS CHAOS here.

Feeling (about Thought): Hopeless

Actions (when feeling hopeless): Distracted. Complaining. Pacing and looking out window at the workers. Keep saying “It’s always like this.” Not enjoying being in my weekend house. Not appreciating having ability to hire contractors to make house look better. Telling myself that I will never catch up. Not writing. Not figuring out a place to go with internet and quiet. Then judging myself harshly that if I were a grown up I wouldn’t be acting like a baby.

Result: I add to the chaos by behaving chaotically.

Using the 5 part Thought Model helps me see that even though I think my feeling of hopelessness is from the Painters using their tools and the Internet being out, the real problem is that I am thinking “It’s Chaos Here!”

As I was finishing up the model I received a text from a client and I responded:
“Let me get back to you in 45 minutes, it’s chaos here.”

My client shot back immediately:

“You say “chaos” like it’s a bad thing.”

How are my clients so smart? I am definitely saying “Chaos” like it’s a bad thing.

NEW MODEL:

Facts: Monday AM, power washing, power sanding & nail guns around the 4 sides of house. Internet Not working.

Thought (about Fact): It’s ALWAYS CHAOS here.

Feeling (about Thought): Instead of Hopeless, AMUSED

Actions (when feeling amused): Go out and talk with contractors. Find out their time frame. Tell them what I need and see if we can make a plan. Laugh. Remember how much I like the contractor and what good work they do. Decide to switch up my plan so the quiet focus work will be later. Tell my client that she made my day fun in one sentence. Notice that my life is a little chaotic and that’s exactly what I want.

Result: I remember that Chaos doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

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