Balancing Life's Chaos and Nurturing the Ordinary
In the hustle and bustle of life, where everyday challenges often seem to overshadow the little moments, I recently found myself facing an ordinary struggle that made me pause and reflect on the complexity of our daily existence.
It was a seemingly unremarkable evening when I decided to make a homemade pizza. I was trying to throw myself a softball with dinner because the chaos of the week had finally caught up to me and preparing a complex meal was "off the table" so to speak. Little did I know that the real challenge wasn't going to be creating the perfect pizza; it was going to be embracing the ordinary struggles that life so often serves us.
I put on my earbuds and listened to a Brene Brown podcast for a little bit of inspiration and began. Side note, she didn't tell me a single thing I wanted to hear but that's another entry. The battle with uncooperative pizza dough turned into a 20-minute long wrestling match. I tried to shape it into the perfect circle, but it kept springing back, as if mocking my efforts. If you know anything about dough, you know the more you work it the tougher it gets so supper was shaping up to be pretty unappetizing. The week had been so much I felt myself beginning to cry. In that moment, I realized that life is much like that unyielding pizza dough, always reminding us of its unpredictable nature. Life doesn't always adhere to our plans, and our journey is full of twists and turns, much like the misshapen dough on my tray.
As I struggled with this seemingly trivial task, I couldn't help but think about the chaos that surrounds us every day. I had to pause to ask myself why I was letting dough, of all things, get to me. I'm juggling motherhood, entrepreneurship, and the ever-changing landscape of military spouse life. The world outside our home is marked by conflicts in the Middle East, brutality being broadcast right before our eyes, and I found myself explaining active shooter drills to my 5-year-old, a conversation that no parent ever wants to have.
I'm also trying to find time, with no avail, to simply be a partner to my best friend and husband. The demands of our lives are endless, and we often find ourselves pulled in a hundred different directions, leaving little time for each other. The quest for perfection and order in a world that thrives on chaos can be overwhelming.
So, how do we navigate these ordinary struggles without feeling overwhelmed and less than capable?
The answer, I've found, lies in embracing the ordinary, meeting ourselves where we're at and reaching out to community. We must learn to give ourselves grace and understand that it's okay not to have everything perfectly in place. In fact, it's in our imperfections that we find our true strength.
Someone once told me, "People want to help... so LET them." We don't have to bear the weight of our struggles alone. It's okay to ask for help, to lean on our friends, family, and community when life becomes too much to handle. In our vulnerability, we find strength, and in our ordinary struggles, we discover resilience. Resilience is a muscle and if you allow yourself to build it up by acknowledging the hard, "embracing the suck" and simply allowing yourself to be in this moment, the bigger stuff gets little and the little stuff doesn't seem so important.
As the pizza dough finally yielded to my persistence, I realized that life is a lot like that dough—sometimes uncooperative, often unpredictable, but always rewarding in the end. It's in the ordinary struggles that we learn the most about ourselves and the world around us. And it's in the chaos that we find our path to grace.
So, as I topped my now perfectly imperfect pizza, I made a silent promise to myself: I will continue to embrace the ordinary, give myself grace, and persist through life's challenges, knowing that the beauty of the journey lies not in its perfection, but in its authenticity.
After all, it's in the ordinary that we find the extraordinary.
My hope for you is that through this blog series about tales of the ordinary, you will be able to give yourself grace and find the support you need to make your life a little easier. So often I believe people don't reach out for help because they believe they don't deserve it, or their life really isn't that hard and they shouldn't be struggling. I see this most often with our veteran community and their spouses are the ones reaching out to get help. If you or someone you know is struggling in the ordinary, please know you are not alone. Reach out for support and resources to Michelle at Veteran Help Point, email@example.com.