Using the Quiet You Have

There are rare moments in the day.  The moments when the dishes are done, dinner is taking care of itself, the front room is picked up, and suddenly, it’s quiet.  Nothing needs you.

And now you get to decide what to do.  I wonder, how many times, when those moments come,  do you decide to start working on something else?  This was commonly the case for my quiet moments.  I would think, “Wow, great, it’s finally quiet.  I’m going to go clean out the closet.  Or organize my books alphabetically.  Or…”  And by the time I could get around to starting that project, life would come back around and need me again.

So I was left with a half-done project and there went my quiet time.

Now I’m not advocating never starting on long-term projects. I am advocating understanding the difference between two types of quiet:

1. the focused, unstructured chunks of time that will get you through large projects and,

2. the short and unexpected pockets of calm that can happen throughout your day.

The first is a wonderful tool, but most of the time, you have to plan for it.  The second is each day’s gift to you, and you have to pay attention or you could miss it entirely.  The distinction between the two is vital.

What’s my advice for the second type of quiet?  First, recognize it.  Then embrace it!  When mine came today, my first thought was putting all the boxes back into the storage closet.  What I actually did was turn on Christmas music and read a Church magazine.  I can’t tell you the difference it made!  I was calm.  Things were quiet.  And while my storage boxes are still on the floor in the office, my soul is a little more nourished.

And to be honest, I would trade this view:

for this view any day!

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