It’s time for some peace and quiet. Starting now, until I don’t know when yet, I’m enforcing a strict policy of silence.
I just need everyone to shhhhhhhh!
Yes, I live with a toddler AND the loudest sneezer on the planet. On most days, there are no fewer than four people in the house. And we live to a soundtrack of Miles Davis and Raffi (Judah’s current faves).
That’s fine. I’m not trying to mute the sounds of home. That’s not what I mean at all. What I mean is, I need everyone in my head to just hush for a while.
Allow me to explain.
The time of day I cherish most is the morning, which is a little odd because I’m not a morning person at all. I prefer to rise when the sun has thoroughly warmed the earth. Yet, there is something magical about the morning. The air is cool and still as if it’s holding its breath, waiting for something spectacular to happen, as if to say, “See? This is what possibility feels like.”
Since having a baby, I’ve become intimately acquainted with the morning. I really had no choice. But my husband sleeps in, so the early morning, by default, has become mine and Judah’s alone. I rather like it. I don’t have to share him with anyone. We get to take in all that possibility, roll it around over our tongues, and decide how we want to season the hours ahead. I tell him about our plans for the day and my hopes. It’s a time when I can be frank with him, let him know when I feel like I could have done things differently, or tell him when I think we’re rockin’ it. It’s beautiful. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Except for maybe sleep. I’d trade it for sleep.
One of our morning rituals is to go on a walk or a run. Since he was a wee thing, I’ve been popping him into a wrap, carrier, or stroller after his morning feed and off we’d go to see the world. Or at least to see our neighborhood, which is just as good.
The silence of the morning is divine. But along with this ritual, I’ve adopted a habit of listening to podcasts and audiobooks as we go. I love it. They help me feel connected to the world. They give me perspective. They teach me things that I would never learn through my day to day experience.
But my love of listening has morphed into a kind of addiction. If I’m caught up on my new favorite podcast, I get itchy and start scrolling through my other subscriptions for something just as compelling. I feel I must find something. I can’t listen to nothing! The listening has crept into other times of the day. Like when I’m grocery shopping, folding laundry, getting ready, going on a work walk, driving home – basically any time I’m not engaged with another person in real life, I’m listening to other people I’ve never met talk and talk and talk.
And while I think podcasts and audiobooks are super valuable, I also think there is something even more valuable in silence.
Quiet time is when you synthesize everything that’s been going on in your life and process new information. It’s when the best ideas step into frame. It’s when you download your intuition. It’s when you connect with your higher self, your essence, your god. Until you get quiet, all this good stuff is just sitting on the sidelines waiting for you to recognize it, waiting for you to give it permission to be.
Silence is a source of great strength. ~Lao Tzu
I think listening to the thoughts of others makes me feel like I’m taking a break or tuning out all the noise. It’s deceptive though, because I suspect that it’s actually making it worse, giving me a kind of ADD that makes it really hard to follow one thought all the way through. I find myself stopping in the middle of an action or chore with the distinct feeling that I was on to something important…but then I lose it. It’s unnerving.
So, I’m committing to taking some time off from all the talk. I need to reconnect to my inner voice – that friend who always knows what’s best for me, who always knows which direction to go next, and who always, always knows when it’s time to host a dance party of one.
I’ll get back to my podcasts and audiobooks eventually. I’ve got six Audible credits waiting for me to tell them what to do. So don’t worry, Earbuds, we’ll be back together soon. Anyway, absence makes the heart grow fonder. But for now, I’m looking forward to the quiet walks again, noticing the morning in all it’s understated beauty, and listening to the world through Judah’s ears.
I think when I’m very old, I’d like to come back to our neighborhood and hobble the sidewalks with Judah at my side. I’ll be feeling the air, taking in the smell of dew on grass. I’ll be sharing with my son my hopes and plans and thoughts on the things I wish I’d done differently. And I for sure won’t be listening to a podcast while I do.
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