My house has been quiet this week. Silent, still. I tend to fill the space with music, with the background noise of the television, or with the ceaseless chatter found blog reading and site surfing. This time, I tried not to distract myself with filler. I sat with the quiet and let myself feel it.
I keep my days busy, full of work, activities, emails and friends. But lately I have noticed that I’m so distracted by the “busy” that I am not paying attention to my thoughts and feelings. When I slowed down this week, I was surprised to find that the first emotion I felt was sadness. I sat longer and the feeling changed to peace. I don’t meditate but I have always felt renewed by time alone, and as a working mom with two small kids, that alone time is rare.
I’ve made my career in sales, so in theory, I’m an extrovert. But I sell books. So I chose this path because I’m most at home in a bookstore, or a library, or anywhere I can sit, quietly reading. The sales aspect was incidental. I’ve been ignoring the fact that the introvert in me needs some downtime, some time alone to think, or read, or dream or write, in order to recharge. I saw this quote on a blog post yesterday, taken from a terrific New York Times opinion piece on the Quiet Car found on Amtrak trains, and it perfectly captures this feeling:
“We’re a tribe, we quiet ones, we readers and thinkers and letter writers, we daydreamers and gazers out of windows.”
I’m going to try not to ignore this need anymore. I want to find little pockets of stillness to spend alone with my thoughts. I want to fight the urge to distract from feelings that may not always be happy, but instead to acknowledge them and to work through them. I want to nourish that introvert side of me during the hour before the kids come home, or the hour in the morning before they awake.
Wishing you a happy weekend, full of time for whatever it is that renews you.
*image credit designskool