166 – Order

Happy New Year – Wishing you the best in 2023

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Earlier today, I saw an article about people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I’ve known people like that. Although I’m not, I think everyone has OCD about something. This thought leads me to my idea for the day – order.

My first thoughts about order are ways to organize – alphabetical, numerical, chronological, statistical, characteristics, and sequential are a few. Toss in personal characteristics such as gender, age, height, weight, birthdays, and more. The number of ways to organize seems vast. Besides, what is order to some may be disorder to someone else.

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I think about libraries. Many books in one place – books coming and going – visitors removing books from their neat and rightful place on the shelf, but returning it who knows where. Librarians constantly work to maintain order while fighting the movement toward disorder. Maintaining order within our personal spaces is similar. Daily life moves things out of order and toward disorder. It takes energy to keep everything neat and organized. It may take a lot of time and energy to get a room orderly, but not much time for chaos to reign.

My science background directs me to entropy – the movement of a system toward disorder. In a living system, such as a plant, animal, and even bacteria, life is full of examples of moving toward disorder, so the organism uses energy to return to order. Maintaining a relatively constant body temperature within our body requires monitoring temperature and balancing heat production, removal, along with adjusting to keep heat within. For those who remember a past walk, yes – that’s homeostasis.

Life engages in a continuous battle of ordering, disordering, and reording to maintain an equilibrium for life. But it’s necessary at the level of cells and by the organism as a whole. That’s true for we humans – and also true for the crabs, oysters, fish, seaweed, algae, and all the other sea life.

I watch the waves thinking about order and disorder. Water washes ashore, only to return to the sea. Water in motion moves sand to deposit it on the beach, only to have water move back into the sea while taking sand with it. Then again, the moving water is energy, and waves dissipate kinetic energy.

Each year I visit, the beach seems slightly different than when I left it 10 months prior. More narrow in some places – wider in others. Then again, the beach is constantly changing.

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Several years ago, I observed dredging of the channel – the process of moving sand from the channel floor to the beach. A giant vacuum system took in sand and water, then pumped it through long pipes. Eventually, a large volume of sand and water poured onto the beach. Then, the water returned to the sea, but most of the sand stayed behind. Enough sand that a bulldozer eventually spread to widen the beach.

I chuckle thinking sand will eventually regather in the channel, only for dredging to return a few years later. I also realize hurricanes do move great amounts of sand – reshaping beaches – clearing and filling channels. Then humans spend energy and money to return some order.

I think about terms related to disorder, such as chaos, disarray, and entropy. Our personal lives involve a constant battle between order and disorder. Municipalities repair streets only to have those same streets deteriorate over time. Life activities with all living things. The dredging of waterways. Fighting a messy room. The battle between order and disorder is all around us.

The thought of the order-disorder cycle of events in our home makes me laugh. One of us believes the labels of spice containers should be facing out, but the other returns the spice to the shelves in whatever way – usually, the labels are not facing out for the next person. An important order for one person is not important to another.

I look out over the water that goes as far as the eye can see. So much water on our planetary home, yet my endless view is only a small fraction of our planet’s water. So much water that our planet is very blue from space – appearing as a floating blue and white marble with a backdrop of the blackness of space. All that water absorbs much of the sun’s heat to help control our planet’s temperature. Yes, an attempt to maintain order.

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I wonder about the ups and downs of life and how they are similar to order, disorder, and reorder. The order of traditions, direction, and structure; the disorder of doubt and the issues of the day; the reorder of personal growth and renewal. Perhaps this is a way to look at the weather.

Thinking of order and disorder reminds me of other connected antonyms: concrete-ambiguous, trust-doubt, equilibrium-disarray, methodical-undisciplined, and tidy-messy. I’m sure there are more, but these make sense to me.

A beach is a place of a lot of cycling between order and disorder. Then again, that is nature at work because the constant struggle between order and disorder is everywhere. Even with chaos in action, the beach offers a steadiness that I appreciate. No wonder I like walking on the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have posted about Order

Next Post: Language v3 – Saturday 7th January @ 1 AM (Eastern US


99 thoughts on “166 – Order”

  1. Clouds are amazing things, aren’t they, Frank? Love your thoughts on libraries. I am a bit OCD and am always twitching the salt and pepper pots to their ‘proper’ places. Mick loves to annoy by twitching them back. Wishing you all the best in ’23 and thanks for being a great traveling companion.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I HATE housecleaning but my “need” for order keeps the house clean! I appreciate order but I think it can be too restrictive as well. I think of how it kept me from being more bold and creative in my painting. I had to have everything JUST SO – no free flowing wild lines and splashes of color – and all these years later I am frustrated that I couldn’t break out of that “box”. Anyway, “order” is an interesting subject and a good way to start the new year. Happy New Year!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pam,
      What a great comment. I like the way you’ve examined order because it has both advantages and disadvantages … and both can be working simultaneously. Then toss in the fact that each of us have a different level of tolerance for order and disorder. So yes – it’s a difficult concept to see and understand. Thanks for sharing …. and best wishes for your 2023.


  3. Happy New Year, Frank!
    An interesting post, and you had me also thinking about ordering my thoughts, and also how someone might order someone else to put things in order. Or the order of orders in a restaurant. . . 🙂

    I suppose nature is both ordered and disordered.

    I’m thinking it’s you who likes the spice labels facing out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Merril,
      Unquestionably there is a lot to order – and subsequently disorder. As with most topics here, readers also expand my thoughts about the theme … and each of us are also different … such as something as the spices. I reread the section, and it seems to me that the words leads one to believe which I am … so yes, you are correct. Thanks for walking along and sharing. Best wishes to you and yours in 2023!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I suppose everything we do is in order to be able to do something else. Without disorder there would be nothing to put back into order. How boring for those of us who function on things needing to be orderly.

    Thanks to WWII and the need for orderliness on a naval ship, my dad always maintained “A place for everything and everything in its place”. I can make the biggest mess of all tackling a project, but when I’m done you won’t find a hair out of place. Thanks dad! 🥴

    Yeah Frank, you like those spice labels facing out. Your wife knows what she’s grabbing without looking I bet. 🤗

    If I had to choose between being somewhere OCD or being a hoarder, I’ll choose the
    OCD every time.

    Happy New Year Frank. Looking forward to walking with you this year…in an orderly fashion of course!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ginger,
      Thanks for sharing your personal insight. I know I always get a lot from reader comments because they get me thinking to expand my thoughts even more!

      There is no question that the military involves its share of order …. and that has to influence others in the personal life outside of duty. It becomes normal – a way of life that makes total sense … and it gets passed on to other family members. Cheers to your orderly nature.

      In terms of my wife knowing what to grab – well – maybe – but he simply returning the spices in any order fits her style. Thanks for walking along and I look forward to your visits on future walks. Best wishes to you for the new year!


    1. Shelia,
      Part of the filling of changes is very natural – so we put the energy into fighting it. On the other hand (as you mentioned), humanity has a way of also challenging nature – of which I contend is at least partially due to our selfish nature. Nonetheless, a difficult thing to explain. All the best to you and yours for the new year!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was just thinking about the relationship of geometry and the organic in art…but of course, as you point out, it’s true of everything in life. Layers, and attempts at balance. We’re all somewhere on either side of the center. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kerfe,
      Well stated and your words have great meaning. Words like geometry, art, layers, and balance fit well here … well, at least to me. Yes – we’re all somewhere on either side of the center – …. and those on one side are not the same distance from the center – and this is also true on the other side. Thanks for walking along and sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Tom,
      I think your choice of “a very fine line between order and chaos” is very good …. so good that I wish I would have thought of it! Yes – each of it walk it, let alone have a difference balancing point between order and chaos.

      Thanks for sharing – and best wishes to you for the new year!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Having read this, I realize it’s time to go clean up the kitchen. I spent lots of last night creating disorder. Well, it was fun.
    Frank, I think I’ve always thought of myself as thriving in creative messes. Then one day the creation is finished, and I reorganize, ready for the next creation/mess.
    Interesting & orderly post, as it stays on one topic, and doesn’t trail to other meanings of order.

    Have a wonderful 2023, Frank! 🎉💥🚀✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Resa,
      Glad this post incentivized you to bring the kitchen back to order. The kitchen may may be the one room that goes through they most upheaval on a regular basis. However, love you concept of creative mess. That is your professional world – and it works. But it is also with others – maybe as simple as comparing those with a messy desk and a neat one. Meanwhile, on to 2023. Cheers!!!


  7. Sometimes it feels as if the world is currently out of order. And of course, this disorder has a method inside all that madness. What it is? I have no blessed idea. But thank God for adult beverages, really . . .

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope, the world has always been a tad bit off kilter and this reality will never change. We wish for better, accept what we cannot change and keep moving I guess.

        Yes, just bring the bottle.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Susi,
      Welcome to my beach. Not only thanks for dropping by, thank you for writing your post. After all, if you didn’t write it, I couldn’t have found it! Depending who you ask, this blog fits philosophical, thought provoking, and relaxing … well, those are some of the descriptors. I like stiuluating thought, but more importantly, it’s a friendly place and I enjoy interacting with those who take the time to comment. Come back anytime …. I usually post on Saturdays … and sometimes also on Wednesday.


        1. Thank you. In case you want to dive around a bit (not certainly not a requirement) … 🙂 … the Topics List page/tab at the top shows the topics … past posts are linked. The first one “Introducing” tells the story of how this place came to be. Here’s the link …. plus the About page/tab tells a bit more.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I would have enjoyed watching the dredging process, Frank. Amazing machinery and engineering.
    And I am aware of how much I rely on order for making my way through this world. When things fall “out of order” according to what makes sense to me, I have been known to have a hard time!
    One of my lighter thoughts about “order” occurred to me as you mentioned libraries. There is a trend on some of the design shows to encourage ordering books in a home library, grouping books by color with no regard to topic, or title, or author. Just color. On a simplified level this thought totally illustrates to me how people do NOT order or create design with the same eye. “Color blocked” book shelves would drive me crazy. I love my books and libraries and I’d rather see them piled on the floor waiting for me than used as design objects on a shelf. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      Glad you enjoyed this essay to start the new year. We’ve only seen the dredging process once … and it was interesting. That had to be one powerful pump! The “color block” in homes has to be a decorator’s idea. I can see how some people like it …. then again, I also understand it’s not for everyone. I wonder how many people will be displaying books in 30 years?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This makes me think of Albert Camus’ quote:
    “Basically, at the very bottom of life, which seduces us all, there is only absurdity, and more absurdity. And maybe that’s what gives us our joy for living, because the only thing that can defeat absurdity is lucidity”
    Great read, Frank! ❤️🙏❤️🌊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. How interesting Frank. I don’t think of myself as OCD either, at least not in terms of spice containers and fastidious in the kitchen, although I do like my clothes hung in a certain order on the clothes line 😂. Happy new year. Hope you have a fabulous 2023.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy New Year, Frank! This post hit home a lot for me in a long list of ways :-). After finishing up the year and putting away decorations, my weekend was consumed with order/disorder. Now on to tax prep, that’s a total disorder that needs order fast! LOL.
    I think you’d really enjoy the Brain Energy book by Christopher Palmer (mitochondria details are fascinating) that I’m reading and the one I just finished called Ruthless River Love & Survival By Raft On The Amazon’s Relentless Madre De Dios by Holly Fitzgerald. Both books discuss disorder and order in many ways you described in your post. As always, I enjoy how your posts get me thinking and relaxing to the sounds of the ocean!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelley,
      Happy New Year! Best wishes to you and yours for what 2023 will deliver in the future. Glad you enjoyed this little stroll. This holiday season is definitely a blend of disorder and order. Yes, that is true for all 365 days, but the hectic nature of the holiday season seems to amplify the disorder and order in life. Thanks for the book recommendation. The one with the mitochondria fits by biology background! Thank you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Frank, yes, disorder/order is part of our life, and important too. I hope you like the book. I finished reading it yesterday. While it is a focus on mental health, the mitochondria factors affect everyone, so it’s an important message for everyone to hear. The author explains the connections of mitochondria to every part of our brains…it was a fascinating read to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. A good topic to begin the new year, Frank. I think this is the time we all think about bringing some of the chaos back into order. Who knows how much will get done – less than planned, I expect. Wishing you all the best, in whatever order you like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan,
      Thanks for letting me know this is a good post to start the year. Once I decided “Last” as the topic to conclude the year, “Order” jumped out at me to start the year. Your validation makes me smile. Meanwhile, life naturally throws a lot of chaos and order our way …. and surely each of us handle it differently … and that’s ok because it is part of our differences that makes us human!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. With the grandchildren here over the holidays I got a good dose of how quickly things can get out of order! It did take a lot of time and energy trying to restore order after they left, but it was worth it having enjoyed all the chaos. The “order-disorder cycle of events in our home” was definitely at play. 🙂 (I can appreciate the spice rack situation…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara,
      Your comment made me smile. We don’t have kids – therefore no grandchildren – but when we visit our niece …. whew! …. chaos reigns because she has a 4 year old and twin 2 year olds! Yes, you enjoy having them, but wow – they were you out and increase the disorder! …. but it’s a disorder we accept.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Frank, my first thought on this was how “orderly” I am. In my employment, many times I had to reprioritize tasks during the day, and that led me to take a similar approach outside of the office. If I ever feel like things are spinning out of control, I will make a list of what to do first, second, third, etc. I love being highly-organized, and while I know being obsessive about order can take you to a bad place, I would ultimately rather be orderly than live in and with chaos. The best of 2023 for you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AJ,
      Welcome to my beach … and the beach is absolutely a great place to ponder many aspects of life. Thank you for writing your post. After all, you didn’t publish it, I couldn’t link it. I invite you back any time for another beach walk essay.


  15. Frank, I have to laugh and I did laugh out loud by certain things you wrote about. My husband has OCD and believe me it’s a standing joke now when I burst out and say, “Uh that is a bit OCD don’t you think?” And then he puts his hand up to high 5 with me. LOL He is obsessed about order HIS way of course yet what I call order he messes cuz you know it’s not HIS way. It’s a constant give and take in this house. I’ve arrived on the page if the floor needs to be cleaned and I don’t feel like doing it, thus the floor stays until I do feel like doing it. And as for hubby, I’ve learned to let go and just let him do his thing for in seriousness that is his safety net. However, when he takes it too far, I do say something. And he knows he’s over the top. Order/chaos/order. I’m fond of saying it’s healthy to have some type of dirt around the house. I have a neighbor who is constantly cleaning …. um no that would not be me. My house is truly lived in and comfortable.

    LOVED your post. I’m still giggling. Thank you, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Another thoughtful post, Frank, and interesting that your first post of the new year is on ORDER. Oh, how we wish we could ‘order’ a happy new year, full of good health, perhaps some wealth, and lots of love and friendship. Well, I find that keeping my life in order helps with the above. If I’m dis-ordered, I forget to take my meds (not many, but they’re important) and I’d forget to send thank you notes for my gifts and greeting cards to friends on birthdays/anniversaries/etc. I can’t stand leaving my bedroom first thing in the morning without making the bed. I shiver at the thought of a disordered room. But. If you looked at the top of my computer table (where my laptop sits and I’m typing to you) you’d think I was an extremely disordered person. YIKES! Happy New Year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      One thing for sure, each of us has our own quirks with order. I had to laugh comparing your computer desk for your need to make your bed first time. Then again, with life being ever-changing, a constant need for order could drive a person bonkers …. and thankful that’s not me. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and best new year wishes to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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