You may have noticed that things have been quiet around here lately. There’s a reason for that. (Ok, a lot of reasons really, but one in particular.) While in years past I’ve selected words like “brave” and “intent” to steer my mind and actions for the year, at the start of 2016 I decided that I needed to go boldly in a different direction.
In my life these days, things are pretty much the opposite of quiet. My house is filled with busy, growing children. My days are filled with errands and decisions that will help turn mounds of lumber and concrete into a lovely family home. My mind is filled with questions about everything from after-school schedules to metallic finishes to whether it even matters if I keep writing on this blog — or at all.
The truth is, quiet is my nature. My mom jokes about a family friend who, when I was in kindergarten said, “If Amy doesn’t learn to speak up, she’s never going to be successful.” And lately I’ve been thinking that the exact opposite is true. If I don’t seek out quiet and let it restore me, I’m going to burn out — as a mom, as a friend, as a writer.
So this year I will embrace quiet.
When I’m overwhelmed by the constant stimulation surrounding me, I will put on headphones in an effort to tune out the extra noise that makes my brain — and blood pressure — go crazy.
When I’m tempted to yell at my children, I’ll take a silent breath, and respond with all the calm I can muster.
That voice in my head telling me that I’m terrible at taking care of myself, making decisions, getting organized, and accomplishing personal goals? I will hush it, and remind it that it’s not welcome in my quiet space.
Rather than blog because it’s a certain day of the week or a brand has hired me, I’ll refrain from adding to the noise in the blogosphere, and wait until I have something more meaningful (or funny) to say.
While I may not be writing as often as I have in the past, there is one place I’m thrilled you’ll find my words in 2016: Quiet Revolution. (How’s that for proof that the universe is listening?!) You see, about four years ago, I read the groundbreaking book Quiet by Susan Cain. Given the popularity of her research, she’s launched a movement honoring the qualities of introverts, and I’ve been a huge fan of her new site and efforts. I’m proud to be sharing my experiences and thoughts in the Parenting section, starting with my first piece: The Long Runway: Granting Kids the Time They Need to Socially Succeed. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it, and maybe even share it with friends who have quiet kids themselves. (If you think you have introverted children, I encourage you to spend some time on the site, even take the quiz or listen to the podcast.)
In the quiet, I hope to listen — to really hear what my loved ones think and need. I hope to learn and grow — to uncover what’s next for me once our house is built and I have time to write regularly again. And I hope to be renewed — to honor my family, my friends, and myself with all the enthusiasm and energy this beautifully chaotic life of mine calls for.
As much as I love quiet, I also love hearing from you. Did you choose a word or resolution for 2016? How is it going?