The house was quiet this morning. So quiet, in fact, that the only sound I could hear was the humming of my sewing machine, and the soft brush of my fingers against the fabric as I finger pressed. Every now and then the dogs would sigh or snore, and after a while I turned on Pandora. Quietly.
I love quiet. Something about it makes me infinitely more able to concentrate, more creative, more grounded, and settled in my thoughts and dreams. Over the years, I’ve been in many places and situations where I was allowed the privilege of quiet–school, workplaces, and even my home before kids came. Now, quiet ebbs and flows. Sometimes I get more of it, and sometimes less–and it’s always obvious to me when I’ve had “less”–because that’s when I start feeling a little crazed, a little burned out, and a lot overwhelmed.
On the other hand, just a few hours can make a HUGE difference. For example, last week I was in that burned out place. You know the place I’m talking about, where everything is just a few degrees h arder than you want it to be, where things that aren’t usually a big deal suddenly are, and in a big way. When you can’t muster up the energy to do anything but get by. Then, Monday morning happened. I had nearly 3 hours to myself, and a better breakfast in my system than I’m used to.
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you know what happened: 11 pieced quilt backs, several works-in-progress finished, a quilt put on my longarm, and several other projects started. And not only did they get done, but I was happy and running to do it. The house got cleaned more thoroughly than usual, and menu for the week was made. I’d love to say that everything on my to do list and everything in my world just magically fixed, happened, was effortless–and though that’s not the case–things just felt lighter, easier. More surmountable.
I’m starting to realize the importance of realizing how I recharge, and harnessing my world to take advantage of those times. For Pete’s sake, I know how I get burned out–it makes sense to know how I regroup, too. I have a hunch that this same thing applies to most people, especially most young moms, who find themselves in the midst of a life that is all about extending yourself to accommodate, nurture and enrich everyone around you. It’s not even that I feel like I’ve forgotten to take care of myself as much as it is that by the time I remember, I have nothing left to give to the effort. It’s easy to imagine that I’m the only one who drops into bed at the end of the day and thinks “Maybe I’ll get a few minutes tomorrow to sew/eat/shower/dream/think/plan/organize/be happy tomorrow. I’m done today.” But I know I’m not the only one, and that’s why I’m writing this–as a gentle reminder.
Take a few minutes. Center yourself. Figure out when you can have a few hours to rejuvenate–whatever that means to you. Consider it a little spring cleaning for your soul.
PS Hugs and kisses to Miss Lily, who let me photograph her “clean pretty bedroom!” for my post. There’s just something calming about lamplight, don’t you think? I happen to believe I can’t feel “quiet” inside without some major cleanliness outside. But that’s a post for another day. Mwa!