“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly. . . spending
quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create
order." Susan L. Taylor Quotes
Oh the sound of silence! I am sitting here typing this blog at a rare time
that I am alone in the house. Although I love my family dearly, to have a quiet
moment to myself is indeed very refreshing. It is important for all of us to
have that alone time, the quiet time, the break from the regular routine, for
both our mental health and overall wellness.
Right now we are on Spring break. So whether people are away on vacation or
having what they call a “staycation” in the comfort of their own homes, people
are carving out some time for themselves and their families to rest, relax and
enjoy a change of pace from their ordinary agendas. Life can become so very
hectic at times. We glance at our full calendars and it can be absolutely
overwhelming. I find it is necessary to become intentional to book blocks of
time in that are reserved for free time such as chilling with the family in my
pajamas with a cup or coffee in one hand and a good book in the other. My whole
family also loves to nap whenever we are able to. Funny how when you were younger,
napping was the “worst thing ever” and now I find it is the “best thing ever” to
get a break from the craziness that is life sometimes.
A favourite children’s book of mine is called Mort the Sport by Robert Kraus.
In this book Mort’s well intended parents keep him so busy that Mort cannot keep
up. One parent wants him to become a famous violinist and another wants him to
be an all star baseball player. He gets so flustered at one point in the story he ends up
trying to accidentally play a concerto on the bat and attempt a homerun with the
swing of the violin! His parents finally have a heart to heart with him about
these activities and realize that he is feeling completely overwhelmed. He
shares he wants to start a new hobby: playing chess. When asked why, he states
because he just wants to sit down! A very cute story with a true message that
being overly busy is not good at any age!
Preparing for a new school year is always exciting. I spend a lot of time at
my school decorating the room, organizing supplies, and preparing lessons each
summer. The room and entire school is perfectly quiet and I am so productive
with no interruptions. I anticipate how busy and noisy this little room will
soon become, but know that it is alright because I have had my quiet time of
reflection and preparing and it all balances out in the end.
There is a time for busy activity and there is a time for just feeling
relaxed and even a bit lazy. The key is balance. Finding balance is so crucial.
When a person does not have opportunity for rest and relaxation, many health
concerns can abound. There is a condition known as “compassion fatigue,”
nowadays. It is the weariness one feels for caring for people day after day
without a break. As a young stay at home mom, I experienced these feelings. When
I would go for long stretches of time without adult conversation, alone time or
a break from the kids, I would really struggle emotionally. I loved my kids so
much and was so grateful that I had the privilege of staying home with them
during this critical time in their lives, but I needed to take care of me first
to be truly effective. Sometimes you have to be creative to have some “me” time.
Back then I would take a long shower and relax when I needed a break from the
kids. I could hear pounding on the door of course, but at that time they were
old enough and I knew they were fine, so I wouldn’t worry. I heard a story about
a mother of twelve children, who could never get any time to herself so she
would pull an apron over her face to signify to the kids when she desperately needed
a break. They were trained not to bother her when the apron was on her face so
she could relax, pray and collect herself a bit to be effective for the rest of
In the Bible it says “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will
give you rest.” It is in quiet times of prayer and meditation that I truly feel my
burdens lift and a refreshing time of renewal happens for me. This helps me deal
with the busyness of life that is the reality of my family and any young family today.
People unwind and “chill out” in different fashions, which is perfectly acceptable as long
as they are choosing a way that is healthy and safe for them.
Sometimes we need to take a long look at our lifestyles and perhaps eliminate
unnecessary activities to free up some much needed down time. This can be
difficult to do, but in the end it can be just what is needed to free up some
time for your family and other much needed beneficial activities. Strive to find the
balance. Many days will be busy and hectic, but plan to balance them out with
unstructured, quiet more relaxed days. You will be a better person for it!
Oh by the way, my quiet time is officially over! My daughter just walked through
the door and in the course of writing this blog I received three phone calls with
one notifying me I have company coming for dinner in less than an hour! So much
to do! So little time! Enjoy the break when you get it as it is over all too soon!
Matthew 11:28: Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give
Little Lesson Learned: Finding a balance in life of busy times and quiet
times will make you a much happier, well rounded person.
Copyright: Littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2014
Photo courtesy of (freeimageslive.co.uk)