A Hiatus

I don’t have a lot of quiet places in my life.

I wake up to an alarm. Spend the morning hauling off kids to school with the radio on. Spend the day answering phone calls and talking to customers at the office. Spend the evening in discussions with my husband while cartoons blare in the background. I also often listen to podcasts intermittently for learning, faith growing, and inspiration. 

And there is noise. Everywhere. Add to that social media; More noise. It doesn’t go through my ears but often through my eyes and into my heart. Visual noise. Some good. Some bad. Some inspiring. Some discouraging. But all the while there is LOTS going in and very little silence.

Unfortunately, for the most part I prefer the distraction of all this noise. Its allows me  to ignore my anxieties and worries. It distracts me from frustrations or sorrows I may be feeling. Ultimately, it provides me an escape from tasting dissatisfaction when life doesn’t go the way I planned (which is more often than I like).  

Then all the noise begins to affect me. I get easily overwhelmed and agitated.  My family begins to get ignored as I become consumed by all these distractions. It appears I have opened the door wide to be in so many places… all the while forgetting to be here.

All this noise begins to rob me from being present, focused, and at rest.

Many years ago, my family took a trip to Rockaway Beach in NYC. I’d never been there before. And I’m not sure if it was the location or the time of year, but I remember enjoying the most spectacular waves I had ever seen.  They were large but not totally overpowering. 

I’m not sure how long I spent at the surf being pelted by wave after wave. But I do remember arriving home that night completely and utterly spent. I was bone weary and I knew it. While I enjoyed being in the midst of the waves, the constant driving motion of them coming against me was exhausting. I needed rest and I knew it.

And so I find myself exhausted by the constant waves of noise I’ve filled my life with. And it’s time to STOP. To rest. To be.

On the down side, this means the things I have tried to drown out with the noise will now have a place to be heard. Troubles, sadness, and pain will now have my full attention. 

But if I wait long enough, peace will also find its way to the forefront of my focus. Silence will make its mark. Rest will be found. And I will have a chance to be renewed.

As a result- I can return to being present in the places that matter most to me. With my family. With my friends. At my workplace.

So, I’m deliberately taking a much-needed time of rest. I’ve taken an extended leave of absence from social media and have logged off for the next few months. I have begun to turn the radio off while driving between here and there. I'm volunteering a little less and sitting down a little more.

And wouldn’t you know it? I am beginning to find rest and peace of mind in the silence.


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