I sit down to write and it is dusk outside, quiet and still inside. I can occasionally hear the puttering of my husband as he works to build the pig shelter for our soon-to-arrive newest addition to our property. Little M is either sound asleep or near enough there. I have the house to myself for at least a little slice of time until it gets full dark or my husband gets frustrated with the logs he's assembling into the shelter. It is times like this that I miss when our family's schedule changes. As I become used to a schedule, I learn what time of day I can find tucked away moments like this, where the house is still, where I can breathe and relax and feel the tension flowing out of me.
I am a creature of quiet. I crave it. I go slightly crazy without regular doses where the loudest noise is the wind through the trees. Or the chirping of the birds. Or the fridge. Yeah, I can usually make do with the fridge, if it's that time of day where I really need to be inside, near to my likely-asleep small child. Or if it's the depths of the dark winter.
I think it's one of the reasons why I've done so well moving across the country for grad school while doing field work in the woods 7 days a week for months and months and months on end, and later moving down into a new country and living out near the end of a seasonally dead-end road. I not only enjoy, but need, that quiet. Now don't get me wrong, I love and also need social hour, just maybe not quite as often as most people have it in their lives.
The quiet rejuvenates me. Whether I get it inside when the house is still and quiet, or whether I get it outside on a walk through the woods and hills. It fills me up. Especially when I'm running on near-empty, but even when I'm doing just fine, nothing completes me like a span of quiet time.
For me, when my husband or daughter are around, regardless of what they are doing, I tend to stay busy. Between spending quality time with my family, keeping them fed & clean, keeping the house clean & tidy, keeping up with things around the property, or even just busy work on the computer, I rarely sit down and relax when there are other people around. I suspect a bit of that is because when Little M is around, I can hardly sit down without her coming over and climbing all over me, or convincing me to come sit by her and do something with her, not that I really ever mind!
But it means that I need spaces of quiet in the house to just sit down and be myself. Read a book. Write. Think. Plan. Dream. Basically take my head out of the moment-to-moment of mothering a small child, running a household, keeping ahead of the weeds, and be able to stretch my brain a bit. Breathe in and out, and remember a broader world, bigger goals than those of the current hour, current day.
So tonight I squeezed in some quiet time. And between making a cup of hot chocolate (yes, even in the heat of the summer, I'm just a hot chocolate kind of girl), sitting down with my current book, and breathing, I remembered. I need this quiet. I find it's way too easy to forget. So remember to get your fill-you-up. Whether it's quiet, or something else, just try and remember to squeeze it into your everyday, your everyweek, your everylife.