Friday, April 8, 2011

The Therapy of Quiet

SunsetLast weekend I went to Seattle for 2 days. It was a really brief trip, filled with lots of activity and lots of people. We had cocktail hour, dinner on the waterfront, and presentations to watch. I was by myself for only a few brief moments. Getting away was fun, but still, it wasn't what I'd really needed.  Photo Credit

Sometimes I wonder if my family understands how much I need some time of peace. I need time to quiet my mind and relax. It is true - I do get quiet time: at night, after 9pm; and in the morning, at about 6:00 - 6:15. I just have such a hard time unwinding my brain and relaxing. Late at night and early in the morning, I feel like I'm still "on the clock". I don't have a chance to fully relax my brain because I am always anticipating the inevitable cry of "Mom, she won't get out of my room!" and "Mom, can I have a snack?" and "WAAAHHHHH.... COO......KEEEEEE....."

When I do get a stolen moment during the daytime, and the house is eerily devoid of arguing and shouting and doors slamming and TVs blaring and toys crashing, I can noticeably feel the stress lift away from me. I can feel my shoulders unclench and I can take a deep breath.

I wonder if wanting time alone is selfish. It seems like such a minor thing, and yet, I realize that there is a season of life for everything. Right now I am not in the season of life to be tending to my own needs first; right now my main concerns are (and should be) for my family. I'm not trying to be a martyr, I'm just acknowledging that I have had time to live for myself in the past, and I will have that time again in the future once the kids are grown. Maybe now isn't the right time for me to be putting off family duties to make time for myself. Lately I have been trying to recapture that feeling of freedom and throwing my cares to the wind. Aah, that elusive feeling. I think it remains perpetually out of my grasp because, maybe, I'm not meant to have that feeling just now. I feel like I'm trying to grasp at those few moments of solitude but all my energy is a futile attempt to get what's not meant for me to have. At least not right now.

It's not as though I think of it in terms of me paying my dues to reap the rewards later... it's more that I feel like I'm holding onto these desires because I believe they are self-sustaining needs; in reality I need to understand that my family is sustaining me. My faith is sustaining me. I am sustained by accepting what I've been given and doing the most good with it.

So for now, I don't really know what to do. I've been thinking lately that the reason I can't get ahead of myself, the reason I can't get a handle on things in my life, is because I never have a chance to just sit and focus. I have WAY too many things on my mind that require me to concentrate, and my life just isn't suited to that. I live in an environment with chaos and clutter and every day is something new. I've learned to become flexible but that flexibility comes at the cost of me losing my comfort zone.

I don't really know where this post is going. Maybe today I'm just having a writing therapy day. I just had to get it out there that it's hard for me to get on board with the mindset of "I deserve this". Thinking like that makes it even harder for me to accept that I don't have it. I do feel like I am deserving of free time and happiness and peace. But I don't always get what I deserve and I kinda feel like that's part of being an adult. I need to - HONESTLY - get to a place where I'm comfortable with that and just look at my fleeting moments of peace & quiet as a gift, one to be treasured; and something to look forward to in the future, not long for in the present.

Texan Mama


Lance said...

I wish I could get quiet. It isn't possible living with 4 women.

I should comment here more. You have such a good blog.

Have a good weekend Tex

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e) said...

I teach all day, tutor after school and then go home to a man I love much.

Though I work with my very best friends, I don't eat lunch with them. I NEED that 40 minutes of quiet. Mostly I work, but sometimes, I just sit.

Sigh. It's a good thing.

Bridgett said...

Mt 14:23

Christ understood the need for retreat. The very human need to be alone and recharge before continuing work. Seriously, we all need that silent space.

Jennifer said...

I know exactly what you mean. I think we all need that time just to center ourself so we can keep on keepin' on. I don't think it is selfish at all. I think it is necessary.

Gigi said...

No, it is definitely not selfish to want that quiet's necessary so that you can continue to be the best mom and wife that you can be. It is true that you are in a season where it is harder to find that quiet "you" time - but you should try to find that time - even if it means letting something else go (I suggest laundry....).


Michelle Saunderson said...

Let me assure you that as the kids get older, you will have more quiet time. My kids can be home but I never hear them because they are are the phone with their friends or playing video games in another room. When the kids are little, you really don't enjoy the quiet time when it comes, because you are so distracted all the time, not to mention sleep deprived. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it happens when your youngest is about 10.

Heather said...

I so "get" this post. I knew one of the things that would be hardest for me about being a parent would be living without that quiet time. It is so hard sometimes I sacrifice sleep for the quiet. My husband doesn't get it.
I also feel like right now are my "mommy" years, but I am holding tight to all those other dreams of things I want to do. Those things will about 15-20 years. I will make sure of that.
Keep on writing and venting and working through it all- it helps.

~Melissa~ said...

Every momma deserves happiness and peace! :) Don't feel bad that you want it!

Anonymous said...

If I don't get quiet time I lose my mind. I think that it is something we all need- just in different increments of time.