I have not written in awhile and hope you all had an amazing summer. I had a beautiful summer of quiet. Time in nature, time with my family, time for slowing down. But now that the school year is in full swing and my daughters are at three different schools, the noise has started up again and I am realizing just how important quiet is to me.
I have always needed quiet in my life. As a child I treasured time in my room alone for a little bit after school. In high school I used to like to escape for a run outside. Even in college my roommates made fun of me because I needed earplugs to study or to sleep. And now as a mom and wife I need this quiet more than ever as it seems like my life is getting louder every year.
But it takes effort to find quiet. And today, when I finally did, when my candles were lit, my phone was put away, my deep breaths were taken… a lawn crew began to work at my neighbor’s house! After my initial irritation I smiled and told my Angels “I got it!” It was clear to me immediately that the noise of the lawnmowers was their strong reminder message for me that quiet is not guaranteed in this noisy world no matter what we do. A reminder that I have to learn to tune out the lawnmowers, the dogs barking, the kids activities, the husband snoring. I have to learn to tune out the sounds around me sometimes as silence is not guaranteed. I rarely even get quiet in the shower anymore because someone interrupts.
Would I change my noisy, happy world? NO! (Well, except for being interrupted in the shower!) But I have realized how it is so very important for me now more than ever to find my quiet. So important to find the silence that helps me tune back into my true self and listen to my true soul desires. Quiet that helps me remember that this is my life too and it’s not just about taking care of everybody else.
Last week I celebrated my birthday alone in this quiet. I left Denver and went up to the mountains where I have a favorite spot by the river where this quiet is uninterrupted. It was just me and the sound of the river and the birds nearby. I spent the day in absolute peace and was able to communicate with my soul and listen to myself and my needs. And of all my needs what was my soul calling for the most loudly for the school year ahead? QUIET.
In an ideal world, I could go to this spot every day and find my quiet, but as that is not reality I need to find quiet within my everyday life. Since my birthday I have been trying to seek out little moments of quiet. A minute to take a deep breath in the car before getting out. Stretching by my favorite tree in my yard after a run before going back inside. Staying in bed just a minute longer to take a deep breath and thank God for the day ahead of me. And in doing this, in finding moments of quiet I have found that in the days I remember to take just a minute or two of quiet I am a nicer person to myself and to others. And on the days I do not take a minute, on the days I am racing around in the noise of life I sometimes am not so nice. Not so nice at all. Because the noise and the stress and the running around stir up something inside of me that builds and builds and builds. I feel almost like a balloon that can only take so much and then pops because of all the pressure. And like that same balloon, once I pop I wither up into a wrinkly pile of grief and guilt because I HATE when I pop. Who doesn’t?
So how do I find this quiet on those busy days? How do I keep from popping? What do I do when I take some time for quiet and the lawnmowers start roaring next door? When my kids whine? When the lady in front of me in line at Starbucks is complaining? When the person driving behind me is honking?
I am learning to take a few deep breaths, I am learning to try to tune everything and everyone out and tell myself that quiet is close. That quiet can be found. And I also realize that I am important enough that when I do need extended quiet I can cancel plans that I have made. I can excuse myself from my family. I can go find a place to be by myself. I can schedule days for myself on my calendar and not make any plans. Because I know that if I do all these things, if I make time for this quiet that I will be stronger, happier, better to be around and less likely to POP!
I am not perfect and as my poor, precious daughters can tell you I definitely do POP, but I am hoping that moving forward I can prevent the popping (or at least improve on it!) by finding quality quiet. And hopefully both myself and my household will be happier because of it.
They say silence is golden and I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I might just have to go out and buy myself a new pack of earplugs.
I hope you all are off to a very happy school year with more quiet and less pops.
Blessings and love,