Joshua’s been in school for nearly six weeks now. He’s thriving. A new schedule is emerging. We’re all in the swing of things (until next week when he’s out for fall break).
It’s kind of amazing to me how rapidly our life adjusted yet again. By week number 2, we were set.
We have a system of drop-off and pick-up and nap and work and meals and playing and the buzz of activity is a constant from the time the kids are awake until the time they’re asleep. We have a system and it’s comfortable.
Tuesday night I was in the car alone for longer than 5 minutes, which almost never happens. While driving along it dawned on me that I heard…nothing. Just the sound of silence. Tires on pavement. My own breathing. I sang the Bubble Guppies theme song in my head.
What, your thoughts don’t drift to the theme songs of cartoons meant for children when you’re alone? I mean…
But then I realized how very refreshing the silence was. Not having to talk or listen or respond or think unless I wanted to was sort of invigorating. I didn’t think it was possible for my ears to be exhausted until the moment I felt them sort of heave up sighs of relief at not having to do anything.
Living is loud, y’all.
All day there are noises. Happy, sad, whining, laughing, dog. TV. Music. Machinery. Talking. The noises all become part of our routine and eventually we don’t even really notice that we’re hearing them. They’re just the background for our lives.
I also realized how very infrequently it is that I’m completely, totally alone. Just me and my thoughts about Bubble Guppies. Or the future. Or the present. Or nothing.
It’s weird how less than 10 years ago I was alone and quiet a lot and I hated it. I dreaded leaving work and going home because it was just me and the cat. And a conversationalist he was not. (A jerk who peed in all the wrong places, however, he most certainly was.) I was so lonely.
It’s such a rarity these days for me to be alone and quiet with absolutely nothing pressing which must be done right that minute that when I find myself in one of those moments I realize that there’s a tiny, introverted part of me which craves that sort of solitude. There’s a part of me that craves the sound of silence and the time just to be. To do nothing. To listen to nothing except myself and maybe not even that.
My life is so very full and I’m so blessed by that fullness that to actively seek moments away from that feels sort of…ungrateful? unappreciative? something. Why should I want time away from what is my life?
I know I walked back into the house on Tuesday after a 20 minute drive feeling renewed after two days of non-stop sound, so the silence did me good I didn’t even know I needed.
I think it’s that in those quiet moments I can take stock of what I do have because in that moment I don’t have it. Absence and hearts and all, you know?