I have been antsy lately. I’ve had this deep in my soul yearning for quiet and stillness.
I know, this sounds a little “woo woo.” But for me, this desire started as a whisper and grew into a scream . . .
Give me a chance.
You will miss it ALL if you don’t.
But I haven’t known how to find quiet.
My days are loud and full and busy. If I’m not careful, the entire day will pass and I won’t have spent one minute having a thought other than, “This kitchen is a mess again.” “Do the boys have clean shirts for school?” “Did he wash his hands?” “Please don’t say ‘stupid'” “Geez, another magic trick.” “Don’t jump over the baby.” . . . You get the point. I love taking care of my people. They’re everything and it is my greatest joy to care for them. But I get tired. I’m not taking about sleepiness, though that’s a thing as the baby still isn’t a great sleeper. I’m taking about a deep weariness where my mind and my heart feel tired. Lately, I don’t feel like I can answer all the questions and handle all the emotions swirling around my house. I’m easily annoyed or short tempered with the people I love most. I find myself exhausted with them when they are just being themselves. It’s not good.
Last Friday I woke up after an energizing night with a couple of girlfriends. Big Luke was sick as a dog and stayed in bed all day. I was on my own. I packed up the baby and Elle and headed to the gym because they have childcare and it was my only opportunity of the day to be kid free. (Don’t judge: this is can be crucial when you have 4 kids ages 7-6months and your partner is sick. Or when you have one kid and your partner is healthy. No judgement. Ever.)
Normally, I have a plan for the gym. I’ll do a class or hit the treadmill. On this particular day, all I wanted was to find a quiet corner, close my eyes and not move for as long as I could stand it or until someone poked me and told me that I couldn’t nap at the gym (hehe). I saw a class called “deep stretch yoga.” I crossed my fingers that it wasn’t one of those yoga classes that are hard or require strength or movement. I figured that if it was one of those, I would just roll up my mat and quietly sneak out of the door.
It wasn’t. In this class, “inactive” poses are held for 2-4 minutes. These long poses are meant to stretch more than just muscles, they are meant to reach the connective tissues as well. All of the poses are relaxing. Everyone works at their own level, sinking into the stretches as deeply as is comfortable. The instructor says lovely things like, “You might spend your entire day doing things for other people, but right now is just for you.”
Just for me.
Moms don’t hear this very often. I sunk into child’s pose and released a breath that carried the weight of my world with it. Tears hit my yoga mat as I let go of all stress and pressure and exhaustion of parenting. You see, I want to focus on all the good. I want to thoughtfully answer all the questions that Fleet asks. I want to go out of my way to spend quality time with Luke because he will get lost in the shuffle if I don’t. I want to find fun ways to play with Elle where I get to truly appreciate her two year old self. I want to stare at Charlie Mac and wonder at his absolute perfection. I can’t do any of this if I’m overwhelmed with the all the hard parts.
I walked out of that class knowing that something shifted in my life. There was no going back. Making time for quiet was essential to my happiness and therefore the happiness of those I love.
Laundry, dishes and dirty house be damned. I’m the only person who cares if any of this is done anyway. My kids certainly aren’t paying attention and big Luke is just happy to be here. I love him.
I’m committed. I probably sound delusional. A mom of 4 finding quiet time . . . puhlease?? but I HAVE TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN or I will lose it. My kids, my hubs and mostly myself will suffer big time and I’m not willing to let that happen. The cost is too great.
So, this class is going to become a regular part of my life. I will only miss it if my kids are sick and I have no other childcare options. I’m also going to prioritize quiet time for myself when Elle and Charlie Mac are napping and the boys are at school for at least 15 minutes a day. If I were getting better sleep at night, I’d wake up early to get some quiet time but sleep is still a hot commodity around here and it comes before my quiet time. I’m curious to try a meditation class at a new studio called Still Soul Studio. I know almost nothing about meditation but I’m thinking that it could have some very positive affects on my life.
As these ideas started to manifest, some interesting resources came into my life. You could call this a coincidence, but I’m thinking it’s divine intervention. If you get the Lowcountry Parent magazine, some similar topics are covered in this month’s issue. I opened it this morning and couldn’t believe that it mentioned some of the exact things that have been on my mind. (I started this post over a week ago!) I’ve also listened to a couple of great podcasts that I will link here. When to Jump with Mike Lewis and Manoush Zomorodi talks about the importance of quiet or boredom for having big ideas and Rob Bell talks about it as much needed time to process emotion. I have also learned that this type of yoga is called Yin. I looked it up on youtube and Luke and I did one of the videos last night. We both agreed that this should become a daily activity.
Namaste . . . sorry, couldn’t resist this one. By the way, this is an awesome word. If you don’t know the meaning, my favorite translation is “The God in me sees the God in you.” Just think what the world would be like if we could all see the God in one another.