I was thinking lately of how little quiet there is in my life.
Part of it is my own choosing – I listen to various podcasts all day while I work. Part of it is not as elective – the ceaseless mental chatter that keeps me up at night.
Sometimes, I think I would benefit greatly from meditation or at least a calm yoga practice.
Something about quiet alarms me, though. I’m unlikely to let a silent minute pass in a conversation before rushing to fill it. I have endless stories and commentary. I like to talk. I like to fill the quiet.
I think it’s partially related to my general inability to sit still; to rest, to do nothing, to let dirty dishes sit undisturbed in the sink. I’m generally doing. I have lists of lists of endless things to get done.
A guy I dated in grad school always mocked what an overachiever I was in high school. I was – all my friends were – involved in a thousand things: band, sports, academics, volunteering. There was no quiet and little rest. Then-Boyfriend compared it to his own high school career where he apparently came home and did nothing all evening (per his retelling).
What do you mean, do nothing? I’d clamor.
Just sit and think, he’d tell me.
At the time, I thought this was crazy. And lazy. And completely lacking any practical application in my life.
But now, sometimes, when I’m riding the El and I let myself (yes, “let” myself) just stare out the window rather than reading whatever book I’ve brought along, I have Deep Thoughts and fun ideas and just think things out in a new or different way. (And then I come here and blog about it as thoughts can’t stay in my head for very long without being distributed in some fashion.)
So I know that quiet can be beneficial, I just rarely find (of even seek) it. Maybe that needs to change this year.