Too Much Quiet
Remember how just a little while ago I said I love having several free hours of quiet each day? Yeah, I’m not so sure about that – today anyway. Seven hours of school day doesn’t seem that long, but it really is a long day when you are alone in a house. I don’t know how I didn’t realize that until now, when I’m 38 years old for heaven’s sake! But really, how often do we spend that many quiet hours alone in a house? Before I had kids I worked all day, and spent my days off with my husband. I did have some quiet time, but it was usually full of errands, books and friends. Now my quiet days are full of work, work and only very occasionally a book or a friend. And then some more work. And it’s just not the rosy picture I was holding in my head during all the years of working at home with noisy children. It’s a deafening kind of quiet. The kind where even turning on the tv or radio doesn’t actually make a difference. The kind that isn’t about the actual volume level, but instead is about the fact that the only person I seem to talk to during the day is myself.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am so super grateful I am able to work from home. I like working for myself, I like most of the work I do in and of itself and I like my flexible schedule that lets me drop off, pick up, chauffeur, coach soccer and still earn a living. But I have missed having “real” co-workers over the past five years, even though I’ve always had a little boy or three around to keep it from being too noticeable lonely. Now…it’s really, really lonely. And kindergarten is only two full days a week. I’m realizing that next year is going to be a huge adjustment for me when all three of my boys are in school full time. It’ll be more like LONELY in all caps, not just lonely in lowercase. And I don’t know if there’s an easy fix for that, because I don’t want the expense of an office outside my home and coffee shops are only an option occasionally (a lot of my work is very confidential – no public wifi and no one seeing what I’m typing etc). I don’t want to go back to the cubicle life of working as a regular paralegal.
Last week I was killing (aka wasting) some of my quiet time reading blog posts from my facebook feed and I stumbled across a very fitting one from Anna of Hanging by a Thread. She wrote about missing the haphazard schedule and it totally resonated with me. This past summer I would have given anything for even one quiet day a week. I felt like I was a referee, a cook, a teacher and a paralegal all at once and I was pulled in a million directions. I missed the routine of the school year and I longed for time all by myself, but now I need a new routine for a whole different kind of school year. I keep thinking about spending more time at the gym or something so that I’ll get some exercise and maybe spend time with other adults for a little piece of my day. But when the quiet days actually start I realize I need to do just a little work first and then it’s almost noon somehow and I feel like I’m pressed for time so I just grab some lunch or a coffee, take a small breather and before you know it I need to finish one last work thing before heading to the school pickup line. And just like that my day has flown by, but I was still all alone and not feeling the refreshed feeling I thought these quiet days would bring. I want to pick up the phone and call someone to make plans to visit or have lunch or something on those days, but well, that’s hard for me. For many reasons…but maybe that’s another blog post 😉
I’m going to have to put some thought into how to deal with this surprising concern. And I”m going to have to juggle my schedule to fit in some social time. Maybe a yoga class or a running partner. Something has to be the answer, right?Featured image © Alex White – Fotolia.com