Pat Katz Pat Katz




PAUSE – 20.11 – Order From Chaos Revisited

Reflection: When I first launched my business – almost 35 years ago – I was focused on improving the lives of women working outside the home. Many of us were juggling career and family responsibilities and struggling mightily.

‘Order From Chaos’ was one of my most popular seminars. It zeroed in on dejunking and organizing the physical clutter of life and creating systems to manage endless responsibilities. There was something very satisfying about finding ways to feel more in control of all that was coming at us from every direction.

In the midst of a global resurgence of Covid cases, we face the prospect of a long winter of restricted movement and limits on activities for our selves and our families. Toss on top of our virus anxieties a list of ongoing concerns about economic uncertainty, rascism, social inequities, and a host of other issues. Once again – or perhaps still – many parts of our lives feel chaotic and beyond our control.

In the midst of it all, it may be time to resurrect some of those ‘order from chaos’ practices that helped us through earlier times.

I witnessed a very practical application of this idea in action in the home in which I grew up. There were times when the farm situation was grim, the list of chores was enormous, communication between my folks was strained, and the kids were acting up.

More than once I saw my Mom fill a pail with soapy water, get down on her hands and knees, and scrub the kitchen floor – whether it needed it or not. Though a lot of things may have been spinning out of control, to this one space she could restore order and work off some stress in the process.


Action: I’m not suggesting that we all deal with life’s current challenges by washing our kitchen floors (although perhaps it couldn’t hurt). I’m also not suggesting that we abandon efforts to contribute positively to resolving the social issues that swirl around us.

What I am suggesting is, that in the midst of the chaos, it may lift our spirits and restore a sense of stability to tackle a few simple tasks that are within our direct and immediate control.

I don’t know what they might be for you, but as I write this message and look around my office, I can see a few immediate possibilities for me.

  • There are more than a few books that could be moved along to others who would make better use of them than me.
  • My computer is ‘dragging its butt’, and I think it may have something to do with the number of useless files clogging up its memory.
  • Investing the time to create one list of current passwords from years of loose leaf scribbles plastered with sticki notes might just reduce one recurring stressor.

You might think that tackling this kind of task may feel a bit like ’rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic’. And you might be right.

However, in challenging times when so much seems beyond our control, we do what we can with what we’ve got wherever we are. And in the process we recharge our spirits for the long haul. And that’s a positive outcome for everyone.


Quotes Of The Week: What matters most is how well you walk through the fire. – Charles Bukowski

Embracing chaos might be the journey we need to take to finding peace. – Rachel Hollis

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. – Deepak Chopra

The ability to see order in chaos is called creativity. – Simon Sinek

Chaos in the world brings uneasiness, but it also allows the opportunity for creativity and growth. – Tom Barrett


Resources Of The WeekCreating Order In Chaos is an interesting article by Anuska Bose on using small habits of order to create some stability in your life.

Here’s a great musical message for our times from John Bon Jovi: When You Can’t Do What You Do, You Do What You Can


Readers Write:  In response to the most recent message, Checking In to Check Things Out, Pause reader LG writes: I absolutely love receiving your newsletter. It’s a wonderful Pause with such helpful resources. Thank you for your offerings.


Special Offer:  In the interests of helping you put uplifting info and ideas into the hands of those who need them most, I’m offering a Close Out 2020 Covid special on three of my publications.

You can purchase any quantity of my two books (Press Pause…Press On or Press Pause…Think Again) for $10 each (normally $20).  And you can order any quantity of the Take A Bow booklets for $3.50 each (normally $7).

I’ll pay the tax and you pay the postage.

I have plenty of all three publications on hand, so don’t be shy about requesting whatever quantity you might need to help lift the spirits of those around you – colleagues, employees, clients, friends or family.

To take advantage of this special pricing, contact me directly with your requests (via email at and I’ll be in touch about the details.

For more background info on the publications drop in to the Pause Shop for a look see and sample excerpts.


Pauseworks Gallery:  I love the colors of autumn represented in the unique shapes of these Pumpkins and Squash.

These sat on our kitchen counter for quite a few days and eventually inspired this painting.

Watercolor on canvas. Original available.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

2 Responses to “PAUSE – 20.11 – Order From Chaos Revisited”

  1. Maureen Haddock

    This was just the message I needed. I laughed when I read your Titanic analogy. I could also clean out my computer and compile a password list. I played the Bon Jovi video; it was catchy and I am glad there will be a record of life during these times. Sometimes we are too involved living it to record memories. Thank you Patricia.
    PS This newsletter went to SPAM so I may be late replying.

  2. Pat Katz

    Hi Maureen. Thanks for your comment. Just caught it this evening. Glad the Titanic reference gave you a chuckle. I’m having trouble this evening with passwords on my new desktop computer. Seems to just be the way of the techno world. Warm end of November wishes, Pat

Leave a Reply