noun. the arrangement or disposition of people or things in relation to each other according to a particular sequence, pattern, or method; an authoritative command or instruction.
verb. give an authoritative instruction to do something; request (something) to be made, supplied, or served.
I like order.
I am a highly-organised person and my friends, family and colleagues often laugh at my need for order around me. I like things to be colour coded, alphabeticised and stacked in size order. My book shelves, my wardrobe, my drawers, my cupboards are meticulous.
Everything has a place. Everything has a home.
When I bought my new house I was most excited about having a garage and ordered shelves and boxes to tidy and sort loads of random stuff I have collected over the years.
I am someone who cannot sit down and relax until the washing up is done. I get home from holiday and put the kettle on, unpack and put all my clothes in the wash. I make my bed as I get out of it each morning.
My house is always very tidy, and my friends who have kids come over and enjoy the peace and calm of an unchaotic space.
I like a routine and I go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time most mornings.
Order is my friend.
Order for me brings clarity, certainty and consistency. Order also means I am in control of my environment. Order makes me happy and calm. Order anchors me and centers me, amidst the chaos or in a crisis.
“We adore chaos because we love to produce order”.
M C Escher
I don’t like orders.
I am not very good at being told what to do, I never have been. I am confident, independent, headstrong – some would say stubborn.
I respect authority but I like to be in control of what I am doing. I thrive when I am autonomous.
I respect routines, rules, protocols and laws because they create boundaries and parameters for us to work with in, but I also like navigating them and finding where there is wiggle room.
I am not someone who reads and follows recipes or instructions, I like to find my own way of doing things. Unless it is a life or death situation of course.
I prefer to be asked than to be told. I find that being told what to do, what to think, how to behave is disempowering and inhibiting.
I am rebel in many ways.
“Seek other people’s advice, but don’t take orders. And don’t take 100% of anyone’s advice. Make sure every decision you make is a decision of your own conclusion.
Be a student, not a disciple”.
As I reflect, I have realised that I thrive in environmental order, and I suffocate in ideological order.
My coping mechanisms during the Covid-19 lockdown and social isolation have been focused on what order can I create in the chaos, what order can I bring to the crisis. I have helped others to process their emotions and bring some order to their thinking.
I have been in control of my bubble. I have firmly maintained the sense of order around me. For this situation I have also taken the orders, I have fully followed the recommendations – I have done as instructed. It has frustrated me that others have not.
It has pained me that there has been disorderly behaviour in society. It has concerned me that there is a sense of some people’s behaviour being out of control, especially on social media.
This is when we do need an authority figure to step in, to create order, to give orders, before a Lord of the Flies-esque situation appears.