It’s not very quiet in my house these days. My days are filled with the sounds of a rambunctious toddler calling for mommy and chatting, using sentences composed of variations of every word she’s learned until this point. Each passing hour is echoed by squeals of excitement for cheese, milk, and/or daddy.
That is, until nighttime–when things quiet down and that little ball of energy slowly falls asleep.
With a gentle turning of the door’s latch, I leave her room and make my way down the hall for a moment of solitude.
Tonight, my eyes glaze over the mess in my living room and I head straight to my favorite chair at my dining table. After a long day, I don’t want to hear the loud singing of a toy accidentally picked up before its turned off. I don’t want to hear the sound of my daughter’s high chair as I trudge it back to its spot in the dining room. I don’t even want to hear the shuffling of my own slippers as I hurry to clean up. I don’t want to do anything, but sit in the quiet.
I need to reflect on everything I didn’t get the chance to process. I need to refresh my soul. And I need to remember why every morning I choose to continue spending those not-so-quiet days with my daughter.
If you want to find a bit of clarity when things get difficult or regain the fuel you need to find the right inspiration for your journey, there’s nothing like getting rid of the noise.
I wrote this blog post more than a year ago, but the sentiment is very much the same today:
Night after night I find myself awake well after midnight. My daughter is asleep in her room and my husband is out cold on some sofa somewhere in the house. Meanwhile, I’m typing away on my keyboard with the crickets outside my window keeping me company; and the thrill of being alone with my thoughts keeping me awake.
All this creates a delicate dance between euphoria and exhaustion.
I feel like I need it. Yet I fight yawns every hour just to keep the dance going.
Maybe it’s because my spirit needs it more than my body.
It’s almost like God meets me right there on my couch, and comforts me in a way that gives me clarity and causes me to be still. My mind slows, and I forget about my obligations. I forget that all the laundry hasn’t been put away. I forget that I still have to clean out the attic, the garage, and that catch-all closet in the guest room.
It can wait.
I’m restoring my soul.
The late night quiet giving me fuel to write, and maintain my right mind during the days with my family.
For me, it’s like this quote by author Barbara de Angelis:
“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.”
However, women aren’t the only ones who give of themselves. We all do. Everyday, we give away pieces of ourselves to our colleagues, our spouses, our children, and others in our communities. So we all need that time to unwind and reboot our brains so we can improve our concentration, our productivity, and our relationships. In fact, psychology experts mention more benefits than that.
I remember making the choice to embrace moments of solitude long before I got married or even had my daughter because I saw those benefits. However, I didn’t always make the time. That is, until I would hit that proverbial brick wall, get sick or have to go into a brief hibernation.
It’s safe to say I’ve learned my lesson after going through that one too many times. Now I try to make sure I get my sleep and my solitude.
These days it’s just natural for me to find real moments of “me time” when most people are sleeping, but that won’t work for every parent who stays at home. And it may not work for you. You may enjoy an early morning run, an uninterrupted coffee break or lunch break, a long bath, a good book, or taking a moment to rest with your head in your hands. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I think God can meet you there too.
This is Day 7 of the series, 31 Days of Inspired Living. Join me through the month of October as I write about what I think it looks like to find the inspiration that makes us better. I’ll also offer some encouragement for your journey. In case you missed a day, you can find previous posts in the series here.