Just reading the title of this post makes me wonder if I’m blogging about sexy learning D/s or dusty business management. Maybe both–sexy business D/s?. Heh. I just said “sexy business” out loud and it made me giggle. Maybe it’s just me, but try it yourself: look down at your lap and say “now that is some sexy lady business”. (Hint: It’s funnier if you’re a dude. But I digress.)
One of my biggest epiphanies this year has been that life isn’t about order or chaos, but about the balance of both, and especially the continual creation of order from chaos. (Don’t worry; you’re not going to run out of chaos. Life will continually introduce new chaos all by itself.) By trying to focus on just one side, like the security of order or the freedom of chaos, we end up discovering the tyranny of that side, like the oppression of order or the dangerous consequences of chaos. When we step back and ask “how do we turn chaos into order?” then we allow room for order and chaos in our lives, which creates a space for security and freedom. That sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? Okay, it’s easier said than done, of course. You can end up with oppression and danger in that space if you’re not careful.
No, wait. You are going to end up with oppression and danger in that space, sooner or later, from time to time. It’s guaranteed. Life will throw enough new chaos at you to upset any previous order you have created. That’s sort of Life’s superpower. As the old Yiddish saying goes, “Man plans, and God laughs.” So the real question is what are we going do about it? And I’ll give you a hint: today’s solution won’t work tomorrow. To paraphrase Billy Connolly, “I want it now! I want it yesterday! and I want f**king more tomorrow! And the demands will all be changed then, so f**king stay awake.”
(By the way, Billy Connolly’s entire rant is here and it is pure comedy gold, especially if you clip off the first five seconds so you have no context. He’s ranting about third-wave feminism but honestly he sounds like every manager I’ve ever worked for. But again, I digress.)
One bit of Universal Truth™ I’ve sort of learned about life is that a good way to get through it is to look at what’s going on, make some changes, and see how they work out. I attended a business training class recently, and this exact principle came up as “Inspect. Adapt. Experiment. Repeat.” The rest of the class was just a process for doing those four steps. It was interesting to see that they had one, simple approach to the process for people new to it, and another, expanded, more subtle approach to the process for people that had already been using the process for a while. The shift of the process from simple basics to advanced nuances was a concept our trainer referred to as “process maturity”.
How does this apply to D/s? Well, consider your existing process–which is fancy business talk for “just look at what you’re doing right now”. Have you been doing D/s for a while now, or are you just starting out? Do you formally sit down and talk things out when you’re not getting your needs met, or do you just chat about it in the car on the way to the store? Have you locked everything down with an airtight contract, or are you just flying by the seat of your pants? (You know, “by the seat of your pants” became a much funnier term when I realized that in the UK “pants” means “underwear”. Over here it means “trousers” but the applications of this saying to lingerie are almost limitless. Like how crazy would a person have to be for you to say “are you flying by the seat of your pants and are you also wearing a thong right now?” Ahem. BUT I DIGRESS.)
Beth and I are coming up on five years in This Thing We Do. We still feel new and like we have a lifetime of learning ahead of us. We’ve also started to find a few things that really work well for us, and we occasionally hear a problem someone very new is having that we are familiar with having solved. It’s an exciting time for us. We don’t work off of a contract, but we know they work great for some other people. We’re definitely “just chat about it in the car” people. In fact we had a pretty tough conversation in the car this morning about family drama that happened yesterday. (For those outside the US, the second-most popular Thanksgiving Day tradition–right after eating turkey–is having family drama. I’m going to stop here before this turns into yet another digression.)
I guess my point is, how do you convert life’s chaos, and especially chaos inside your D/s, into order?
If you haven’t guessed, I fly by the seat of my pants. And before you ask: I’m not wearing any.