Order and Chaos

This week’s reflection comes from Office Manager Mariah Pepper:

It’s summer, which means things have slowed down a fair amount around the office. It also means it’s time for me to get going on all the big organizational projects I wrote down all year for “when I have time.” Well, I finally have time! I’m reorganizing our copy paper storage, and rethinking how I file bulk mail receipts, and creating new database tags for mailings, and, and, and…

It’s my favorite time of year. There’s something calming about making order out of chaos. Even when I know that the chaos will take over again, the experience of making a place for every thing and putting every thing in its place just makes me able to breathe more easily. I do have to watch myself, though, as I start to eye people as they approach the work room, my hackles raised as they reach for the copy paper cabinet. “Don’t mess up my system!” I’m yelling inside my head. But the order doesn’t exist just to be orderly – it’s there so that people can find things they need to do their jobs. And yes, sometimes they don’t put things back exactly where they found them, which is why once a year I need to do an overhaul of the whole room.

If you’ve read my other reflections you might guess that this is where I make a metaphorical leap to a profound point about the world. But this time my point is fairly personal; it’s good for me to get comfortable with chaos. I am orderly person, living in a disorderly world. If I hold too tight to my sense of order, I’m just going to end up frustrated. So I let myself organize the copy paper cabinet once a year, and soak in the neat rows of colored card stock, in the hopes that I can then go out into the chaotic world a little more ready to let things happen as they happen.

May you find an oasis of the thing that makes you feel calm this week, and may it stay with you as you go about your day.

In peace and organization,

Mariah Pepper

Scroll to Top