change, life

Controlled Chaos

If you look up in the header, there is some paisley/henna/swirly art.  That was extremely purposeful.  Initially, I picked it because I have an emotional attachment to paisley.  On my first date with Tim, we both wore paisley shirts.  That’s another story for another time but just know that is where my obsession began.  The more I thought about it though, the meaning and purpose evolved.

Let me give you a little background first.  I’m a simple girl who would rather wear jeans and a t-shirt on fancy days.  Unfancy days involve a lot of stretchy fabric that should probably only be worn to the gym.  I only accesorize on special ocasions like date nights, holidays and any other event where I am desparately trying to pretend I am an adult.

In decorating my house, I like clean, straight, even lines.  I hate adding anything unnecesary because for one, I don’t want to dust it and two, it makes my brain feel jumbled.  Recently, I took the risk of hanging pictures on my stairway wall because I really wanted a family album that I could see everyday.  One of my favorite parts on this wall is a mirror.  It wasn’t put there to reduce the ocassions of heading out the door with food smears on my face and clothes, while that is a definite bonus.  I put it there because if you are in our house, you are on the family picture wall.  In our home, you are family.  The picture collage wall was a good idea in theory, but it is driving me a little batty.  First off, I didn’t measure in even spaces between each picture.  The disproportionate spaces between different sizes of pictures give me a twitch.  Plus, every time one of us runs up or down the stairs, the pictures shift and half of them aren’t level anymore.  I spend half of my day righting the crooked frames.


In other parts of the house I like 90 or 45 degree angles.  I like functional furniture and open spaces.  Nothing foofy or fancy sits atop any ledges.  My soul can breath when I see open, uncluttered places.

Having my own kids and neighbor kids running in and out of the house each afternoon makes for some lived in clutter.  Items like backpacks, footballs and smelly socks get deposited in random places.   I want my home to be welcoming, but I also love when everything is in it’s evenly spaced place.  I want all my ducks to stay in their row AND be the place where people feel comfortable to let loose.  Those two ideas are constantly warring with each other because I can’t have both, I know that.

As you can see, I have control issues.

When my friend Stacey and I were brainstorming art ideas for the blog, I mentioned that I loved paisley and henna.  The only reason I mentioned it was because of Tim’s and my cheezy history.  As we were throwing ideas back and forth, my eyes were opened.  I started to look around my house.  For how much I like order and straightness, that chaotic, swirly paisley sure showed up all over my house.  I may highly value simplicity but this flowy design was everywhere!



I have multiple rugs with henna and paisley inspired designs.  It pops up in bedspreads, pillows and picture frames.  Hell, last Spring I even tattooed it onto my entire right arm.


I realized the universe was speaking to me.  You may think you thrive in order, but you also need a little flow in your life.  Not everything needs to be controlled.  Freedom comes when you let go.  Quit trying to put yourself into a box.

People don’t fit into neat, tidy packages.  They are messy.  They flow.  When you dig into the messiness, that’s where you find the beauty.  Perfect can mean level, even and sameness, but it can also mean truth and openness and flow.

I don’t want my own family and friends and the people I come in contact with feel like I’m trying to shove them into uncomfortable parameters.  I don’t want my battle with control to turn people away.  I don’t want others to feel like they have to hide who they really are.  My hope is that my home and my heart welcomes all.  Muddy shoes will track in the mess and clutter.  When that happens, instead of panicking, I want to smile and say, “Welcome!”

Control is important to me, but so is chaos.

How about you.  Do you have issues with control?  If so, how do you keep it contained so it doesn’t bleed into areas of your life that thrive on free flow?

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    Reply Kim Tolman March 13, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    I love your blog. Raw. Open. Honest.

    2015 has been my year of facing my control freak flag, attempting to reign it in and get back to a bit more of my carefree relaxed self. It has been a regular conversation with Matt and I, usually in the car when I am overwhelmed with lack of control and want to grab the wheel. Maybe I should follow your lead and and some paisley to my life as a reminder to let it flow.

    Thank you for sharing in your ups downs and all arounds. It is something I look forward to everyday when I need a sanity check. It is like I have my Pellman dinner back. 🙂

    • Reply Lindsey March 13, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      I miss Pellman dinners!!

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