There is a certain degree of chaos that I deal on a daily basis. If you’ve met our dog Lois, you know what I mean. But there’s also chaos involved with any type of freelancing, which varies from day to day, but is always around to some degree. Sure, being a freelancer frees you from the overbearing boss and demands for your presence that aren’t necessary, but those annoyances are replaced by others. And generally, chaos is the theme of most of them.

One day recently, I was yelling at Lois for licking the dishes in the dishwasher (which she always does, despite always being yelled at for it), and I thought, “Why isn’t Lois allowed to lick the dishes?”

See how sad she is? Not sad enough to stop moving all of our shit to different places in the house, but still sad.
See how sad she is? Not sad enough to stop moving all of our shit to different places in the house, but still sad.

I mean, they’re about to get cleaned. There’s nothing on any of them that I or my husband didn’t eat and survive eating. There’s no logical reason, besides maintaining some sort of regimented order that impacts nothing, that I should take the time and energy to yell at her. So I made a new rule. Rather, I rescinded the rule that Lois can’t lick dishes, and we are all better for it. That worked so well that I’ve stopped getting upset that she moves all of the boots and Christmas decorations into new spots when we’re gone. Whatever. She doesn’t eat anything, she just puts them in new spots. Who am I to decide where all of the thing we own go?

I’ve been trying to apply this to the things I get annoyed with at work as well. Should I be stressed about not hearing back from someone who was making a project more difficult? I mean, he can’t really be upset with the result I’m about to produce when I’ve asked him six times to clarify what he meant and now the project is due. I’m just going to do what I’m going to do, and that’s fine. It’s very refreshing.

The chaos will never disappear completely, but I don’t need to let any of it get me down if I have no hope of controlling it anyway. There are things we can control and things that are just chaotic. And that’s fine. You know, in the spirit of all that “grant me the serenity to accept” whatnot. It makes life easier and freelancing freer, which is how it’s meant to be in the first place.

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