There are so many reasons to begin this series of posts with Kathy Scott. None of this would be possible without her -- literally. In addition to being mother to fellow co-founders Jodi and Jen, her work ethic, can-do attitude, and sense of adventure have inspired all of us to do everything we can every day to spread goodness.
What her bio won't tell you is that she's funny, witty, thoughtful, and kind. She's the kind of person who brings a gift to the party, makes the whole evening more fun, and then helps you clean up afterwards. She's wicked smart, can seemingly teach herself anything, and has taken her curiosity and passion and turned it into a life of wonder and adventure.
Here she reflects on change and chaos, how they have affected her life, and how she has come to make friends with these inevitable constants.
A Season of Changes
If anything in life is certain, change is inevitable . . . however small or large.
Most change in our lives is beyond our control. Our seasons come and go with constant change and regularity (except with some exceptional surprise snow storms here in Colorado). We grow up and age. At my age, it is always a surprise to see how I have aged when I look in the mirror (my mind’s eye still sees me in my 20s - NOT). Another certainty we all adhere to is the ‘sun goes down, moon is aloft, and the sun comes up’ (although the winter time change is not my favorite!).
Growing up in a military family and living the nomadic military life as an adult has taught me a lot about change. I have lived in over 30 different locations and experienced an amazing variety of cities, people, and weather. Factor in what age I was, where I was in my life’s journey, and those around me, and there was even more chaos added to each experience.
Chaos is an interesting word that is usually used in a negative way - pandemonium, turmoil, confusion, upheaval, or frenzy. I personally like the more scientific definition: behavior in a situation or events so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions. This means to me that chaos is expected since change is inevitable. The number and length of colliding, changing situations equals the degree of chaos. The degree of chaos leads to our level of sensitivity, whether negative or positive. Put aside the old sayings like, “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger,” or, “God only gives you what you can handle." I believe we have a choice, informed or uninformed, as to how to react and act.
I know that life experience cannot be undersold. My life coping skills at 3 years old were much different than those at 60. Growing up the way I did gave me my perspective on change and chaos. It isn’t always easy, fun, or comfortable . . . and definitely not predictable. Even if you didn't grow up like I did, we all have had different life experiences that were chaotic and helped us build these life coping skills.
When raising my children (two of whom I am in this business with), I had several principles I stood upon: I wanted them to learn how to love and be loved, learn how to meet chaos, and accept the responsibility for their actions. It was my hope to prepare them to lovingly find their way through life’s challenges.
This year, all of our coping skills have been challenged. Yes, it is a year of extreme CHAOS, but that's not going to suddenly disappear in 2021. We are living in times of uncertainty; whether it be medical, political, social, or environmental. Our sensitivity to small changes is truly heightened and we are desperately looking for order in it all - the silver lining.
What could possibly be the silver lining to these years of Chaos? If we are talking strictly change, then, by definition, it will change too. Even this will not last forever, because . . . change. But wait, you say, that’s not order. You bet its’ not! Change will never be our order; it will be what pushes against and challenges us.
So, what then? I believe it goes back to my first goal when raising my children: to know how to love and be loved. Love wins! I know it sounds like a short and glib answer to it all. But isn’t it? To love those near and far is perhaps the bigger challenge and joy in life. Life around us changes, but the thread through it all is our relationships. Whether we are isolated or in a ‘bubble’ during this COVID time, the way we reach out and let others know we care matters. Isn’t this what makes any situation bearable and the chaos worth meeting?
My challenge and what I extend to you is to reach out as well as reach in. Be good to yourself and others; and be patient, be kind, be understanding, be compassionate, be quiet and listen, be verbal and affirming. Wake up every morning with a loving goal in mind . . . a note, a word, a smile. Find something to laugh about. It is proven laughter is the best medicine. There are great YouTube videos to giggle through, or I find things to laugh about in myself . . . silliness makes smiles. In our family, we call this ‘giggle time.' Then, when going to sleep, reconcile; forgive yourself and others. Then, the sun comes up! Tomorrow is another day to make a difference and push through the waves of chaos.
But remember, change and chaos will always be with us. Who knows, at the end of this particular period of chaos, you might find some silver lining of wisdom and strength that wasn’t there before. Hopefully, a greater depth of love for yourself and others. That is my wish for myself and all of you!
~Kathy Scott - October 2020